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Impact of Month of Birth on the Risk of Development of Autoimmune Addison's Disease

Saw this and wondered if it (or some other observation based on month of birth) also applied to autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) and Graves?

(Also, as I read the numerous people who appear to have some form of adrenal involvement in their health issues, I ask how many have autoimmune adrenal disease, and how many have been tested for that.)

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Nov;101(11):4214-4218. Epub 2016 Aug 30.

Impact of Month of Birth on the Risk of Development of Autoimmune Addison's Disease.

Pazderska A1, Fichna M1, Mitchell AL1, Napier CM1, Gan E1, Ruchała M1, Santibanez-Koref M1, Pearce SH1.

Author information



The pathogenesis of autoimmune Addison's disease (AAD) is thought to be due to interplay of genetic, immune, and environmental factors. A month-of-birth effect, with increased risk for those born in autumn/winter months, has been described in autoimmune conditions such as type 1 diabetes and autoimmune thyroid disease.


Month-of-birth effect was investigated in 2 independent cohorts of AAD subjects.


The monthly distribution of birth in AAD patients was compared with that of the general population using the cosinor test. A total of 415 AAD subjects from the United Kingdom cohort were compared with 8 180 180 United Kingdom births, and 231 AAD subjects from the Polish cohort were compared with 2 421 384 Polish births.


Association between month of birth and the susceptibility to AAD.


In the entire cohort of AAD subjects, month-of-birth distribution analysis showed significant periodicity with peak of births in December and trough in May (P = .028). Analysis of the odds ratio distribution based on month of birth in 2 cohorts of patients with AAD versus the general population revealed a December peak and May trough, and January peak and July trough, in the United Kingdom and Polish cohorts, respectively.


For the first time, we demonstrate that month of birth exerts an effect on the risk of developing AAD, with excess risk in individuals born in winter months and a protective effect when born in the summer. Exposure to seasonal viral infections in the perinatal period, coupled with vitamin D deficiency, could lead to dysregulation of innate immunity affecting the risk of developing AAD.

PMID: 27575942

DOI: 10.1210/jc.2016-2392

[PubMed - in process]

Happily, full paper available here:

11 Replies

Given that it states "A month-of-birth effect, with increased risk for those born in autumn/winter months, has been described in autoimmune conditions such as type 1 diabetes and autoimmune thyroid disease." I went looking. Nothing turned up on autoimmune thyroid disease but I did find

full text


However looking further

which takes a completely different tack.

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loadof rubbish

my husband is dec

our daughter is august

her twins are april

her other daughter july

our other grandaughter february


With respect I don't understand how your family makes this 'a load of rubbish.' Do they all have Addison's? Or none of them have Addison's?



It doesn't say that ALL people born in those months will be affected.

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...or that no one born at other times if the year will be affected, or that only those born in those months will be affected. It also says that genetic and immune factors apply. In a family where there is a high incidence of ai issues it seems like the genetic aspect might overwhelm everything else.


Hi I was adopted back in 1946. I didn't know that I had two sisters but in 1992 my elder sister found me. I also have another sister so that makes three of us. One was born in February, me in July and the other in August. We all have autoimmune problems, so do two other girl cousins they are born in different months too. I was often asked by doctors about my family history ( I never had any information). Now I have it's great but also a curse. Thanks for your article it's interesting.


I found the article interesting and relevant. Surely it is saying that those born in autumn/winter are more likely to have autoimmune issues. It is not saying that only those born in autumn/winter can have auto immune issues.


My daughter has low cortisol and a dodgy immune system and she was born in December :-(

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But my memory is that in the UK D stores build in the summer months, peaking in October. So here, it might not be the pregnancy, it might be linked to low D while a very young baby.

Autism links to March/spring births, which might link to low D in the later months of pregnancy.

Definitely though D status is very important in pregnancy, and while breastfeeding, and not enough mothers realise this.


Absolutely. Everyone considering pregnancy should test for nutrient markers and optimise them all, and D is one of those absolute keys .. the Bs, iron and iodine being some of the others. The NHS will never bear the cost of this, and it is up to us to educate our daughters.


This would be a really good subject for a forum survey. We haven't had one of those for a while.

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