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Original article
Relationship between patients’ month of birth and the prevalence of chronic diseases
Relación entre el mes de nacimiento y la prevalencia de enfermedades crónicas
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Jose Antonio Quesada
Corresponding author
ja.quesada@ua.es

Corresponding author.
, Andreu Nolasco
Departamento de Enfermería Comunitaria, Medicina Preventiva, Salud Pública e Historia de la Ciencia, Universidad de Alicante, Alicante, Spain
Received 17 June 2016. Accepted 20 October 2016
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Tables (3)
Table 1. Number and frequencies of respondents in levels of explanatory variables and month of birth, by sex. Chi square test.
Table 2. Number and prevalence of every health problem. Odds ratios of every health problem in the months of birth, adjusted for all variables. Male.
Table 3. Number and prevalence of every health problem. Odds ratios of every health problem in the months of birth, adjusted for all variables. Female.
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Abstract
Background and objectives

Patients’ month of birth can reflect exposure to certain factors during pregnancy and the first few months of life, which could influence the onset of chronic diseases during adulthood. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between a patient's month of birth and the presence of chronic diseases in the Spanish population, by analysing the National Health Survey for the year 2006.

Patients and methods

We measured the association between 27 common chronic diseases and the month of birth, estimating the odds ratios and confidence intervals at 95%, using multivariate logistical models and adjusting the results for month of birth and potentially confounding variables.

Results

The sample population was made up of a total of 29,478 individuals, representing approximately 44.7 million Spanish residents on 1 January 2007. Significant associations were found between the month of birth and several chronic diseases. There is a gender-differentiated risk pattern of developing chronic diseases according to the month of birth, with more significant associations and of greater magnitude being detected among men compared to women.

Conclusions

The associations detected might reflect early exposure to environmental factors in the uterus and during the first few months of life. More specific studies are required to gain a more in-depth understanding of these associations.

Keywords:
Chronic diseases
Month of birth
Prevalence
Resumen
Antecedentes y objetivos

El mes de nacimiento puede reflejar exposiciones a factores durante el embarazo y en los primeros meses de vida que pueden influir en la aparición de enfermedades crónicas en edades adultas. Se pretende evaluar la asociación entre el mes de nacimiento y la presencia de enfermedades crónicas en la población española, analizando la Encuesta Nacional de Salud del año 2006.

Pacientes y métodos

Se ha medido la asociación entre 27 enfermedades crónicas comunes con el mes de nacimiento mediante la estimación de odds ratios e intervalos de confianza al 95%, con modelos logísticos multivariantes, ajustando el mes de nacimiento y variables potencialmente confusoras.

Resultados

El tamaño muestral fue de 29.478 personas, que representaron aproximadamente a 44.7 millones de españoles residentes a 1 de enero de 2007. Se han encontrado asociaciones significativas entre el mes de nacimiento y tener diversas enfermedades cónicas. Hay un patrón de riesgo de presentar enfermedades crónicas según el mes de nacimiento diferenciado por sexos, detectándose más asociaciones significativas y con mayor magnitud en varones que en mujeres.

Conclusiones

Las asociaciones detectadas pueden reflejar exposiciones tempranas en el útero y en los primeros meses de vida a factores medioambientales. Son necesarios estudios más específicos para ahondar en estas asociaciones.

Palabras clave:
Enfermedades crónicas
Mes de nacimiento
Prevalencia

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