Seasonal programming of adult longevity in Ukraine

Int J Biometeorol. 2002 Dec;47(1):49-52. doi: 10.1007/s00484-002-0144-0. Epub 2002 Sep 4.


Longevity was significantly associated with season of birth in 101,634 individuals who died in Kiev during the period 1990-2000. The relationship between age at death and month of birth showed a very similar pattern for both men and women. Mean values for the age at death were lowest for subjects born in April-July, and highest for individuals born at the beginning and end of the year. Minimum and maximum ages at death, analysed according to month of birth, differed by 2.6 years in men and 2.3 years in women. For all major causes of death causes, the mean age at death for persons born in the fourth quarter was the highest. These results suggest that, in this population, longevity is affected by prenatal or early postnatal seasonal factors. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the rate of ageing may be programmed in response to environmental influences at critical periods of early development.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longevity*
  • Male
  • Meteorological Concepts
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seasons
  • Ukraine