The effects of pre- and post-natal sunlight exposure on human growth: evidence from the Southern Hemisphere

Early Hum Dev. 2000 Nov;60(1):35-42. doi: 10.1016/s0378-3782(00)00102-x.


Several recent studies have reported a causal association between stature and month of birth. Perinatal exposure to sunlight has been suggested as the principal factor underlying this relationship, although the mechanisms involved remain a matter of debate. The longitudinal design of the present study allowed us to directly test the influence of perinatal sunlight exposure (and other meteorological and behavioural factors) on body size at birth and at regular intervals up to age 26. The findings confirmed that pre-natal sunlight is one of the most significant determinants of height. However, the trimester of greatest influence differs depending on the age at which study members were measured.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Body Constitution
  • Body Height
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Growth*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • New Zealand
  • Pregnancy
  • Regression Analysis
  • Seasons
  • Smoking
  • Sunlight*