Objective: Month of birth (MOB) is associated with specified mental disorders (MDs). However, whether these relationships extend to all MDs remains unclear. We investigate the association using a population-based cohort study and a meta-analysis. Methods: First, we examined patients with 34 DSM-5-classified MDs in the Taiwan national database. We estimated the relative risk ratios (RR) of each illness in each MOB relative to that in the general population and assessed the periodicity, with six further sensitivity analyses. Second, we searched PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane for related articles through 31 December 2020. We used a random-effects model, pooled RRs with 95% confidence intervals of each MOB from the identified studies, and transformed them from MOB to relative age in a year or season. Results: The cohort included 1,951,777 patients. Except for posttraumatic stress disorder, dissociative disorders, feeding/eating disorders, gender dysphoria, and paraphilic disorders, the other MDs had significant MOB periodicity. The meta-analysis included 51 studies investigating 10 MDs. The youngest age at the start of school owing to MOB was associated with the highest RRs of intellectual disability (1.13), autism (1.05), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (1.13). Winter births had significant risks of schizophrenia (1.04), bipolar I disorder (1.02), and major depressive disorder (1.01), and autumn births had a significant risk of alcohol use disorder (1.02). No significant associations between season of birth and Alzheimer's disease, or eating disorders were found. Conclusions: MOB is related to the risks of certain MDs. This finding provides a reference for future research on the etiology of MDs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health