Seasonal patterns of perinatal anomalies
Polizzi, Nicholas Calland
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This study examined the relationship between season-of-birth and groupings of six perinatal anomalies for white and black births in Georgia between 1991-2002. This research builds on past studies that examined season-of-birth effects for schizophrenia, learning disabilities, mental retardation, and behavior disorders. The perinatal anomaly data were obtained from the Natality Data Set issued by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) under the auspices of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the Department of Health and Human Services. It was postulated that monthly anomaly birth rates would be meaningfully greater than the anomaly’s average monthly birth rate during the late winter and summer months. It was also postulated that monthly anomaly birth rates would be the same for white and black infants. Last, it was postulated that the pattern of birth rates for each anomaly would occur in significant cycles of 3, 4, 6, or 12 months. White and black infants with low and middle range Apgar scores, white and black infants born at very low birth weight, and black infants born requiring artificial ventilation demonstrated meaningful monthly birth rate peaks that occurred in either the late winter (February) and/or spring/summer months (April-July). Not all perinatal anomalies exhibited meaningful monthly birth peaks. Significant 12 month birth rate cycles were found for black infants born at very low (less than 1500g) birth weight, black infants born at normal-high (greater than 2500g) birth weight, white infants born with other complications at delivery, and black and white infants receiving ventilation at less than 30 minutes after delivery. A significant 6 month cycle was found for white infants assigned middle range Apgar scores. Not all anomalies demonstrated significant birth rate cycles.