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People Born in the Fall More Likely to Survive to 100

Last Updated: July 12, 2012.

People born in the fall, from September to November, are significantly more likely to reach 100 years of age compared with those born in March, according to a study published in the Journal of Aging Research.

THURSDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- People born in the fall, from September to November, are significantly more likely to reach 100 years of age compared with those born in March, according to a study published in the Journal of Aging Research.

Leonid A. Gavrilov, Ph.D., and Natalia S. Gavrilova, Ph.D., of the University of Chicago, conducted a study involving 1,574 centenarians born in the United States between 1880 and 1895 to determine whether month of birth affects survival to age 100. Data for these individuals were compared with those of 10,855 shorter-lived siblings and 1,083 spouses to control for unobserved shared childhood or adulthood environment and common genetic background.

The researchers found significant associations between month of birth and longevity, particularly in those born before 1899. Individuals born in September through November were more likely to become centenarians compared with March-born individuals. This same pattern held true for centenarian spouses.

"The results of this study demonstrate that month-of-birth effects on exceptional longevity persist after controlling for shared childhood environment and unobserved shared characteristics of parents," the authors write. "The results of this study suggest that early-life environmental conditions may have long-lasting effects on human aging and longevity."

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