Season of birth in psychiatry. A review

Neuropsychobiology. 1998;37(4):175-81. doi: 10.1159/000026499.


Numerous studies suggest that seasonal birth may play a pathogenic role in the development of mental disorders. A birth excess of 10% during winter and spring has been shown in schizophrenia. The few studies carried out on affective disorders revealed a significant increase of births in the first quarter of the year in bipolar disorders and major depressive disorder. Subjects with seasonal affective disorder show a peak of births in May. Data on personality, eating and 'neurotic' disorders are less consistent. At the moment there are no data in the literature about anxiety disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology
  • Autistic Disorder / etiology
  • Brain / embryology
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Environment
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / etiology*
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mood Disorders / etiology
  • Periodicity*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology
  • Schizophrenia / etiology
  • Seasons*
  • Sexual Behavior