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Early life climate and adulthood mental health: how birth seasonality influences depressive symptoms in adults

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  • Hao Zhou, Ningbo First Hospital
  • ,
  • Danni Peng-Li, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
  • ,
  • Juan Chen, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Peking University
  • ,
  • Dong Sun, Sun Yat-Sen University, Peking University
  • ,
  • Bin Wan, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication: Function, Structure, and Plasticity, Sun Yat-Sen University

Background: Early life in-utero can have long-term influence on the mental health status of individuals in adulthood, such as depression. Age, gender, socio-economic status, education, and geography are demographic factors shown to be particularly vulnerable towards the development of depressive symptoms. In addition, climate risks on depression include sunlight, rain, and temperature. However, whether climate factors in early life have a long-term influence on depression related to demographic vulnerability remains unknown. Here, the present study explored the association between birth seasonality and adulthood depressive symptoms. Methods: We employed data from the project of Chinese Labour-forces Dynamic Survey (CLDS) 2016, containing the epidemiological data of depressive symptoms with a probability proportional to size cluster and random cluster sampling method in 29 provinces of China. A final sample size of 16,185 participants was included. Birth seasonality included spring (March, April, and May), summer (June, July, and August), autumn (September, October, and November), and winter (December, January, and February). Results: We found that born in Autumn peaked lowest rate of having depressive symptoms (16.8%) and born in Summer (vs. Autumn) had a significant higher ratio (OR = 1.14, 95%CI = 1.02, 1.29) when controlling for demographic variables. In addition, demographic odds ratio of having depressive symptoms differed between people born in different seasons, particular for age and geography. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that birth seasonality influences the sensitive link of depressive symptoms with age and geography. It implicates early life climate environment may play a role in the development of adulthood depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number209
JournalBMC Public Health
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Birth seasonality, Depressive symptoms, Generation, Interaction model

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