Babies born in the spring are at greater risk of developing anorexia nervosa, a new study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry has revealed.

The scientists, led by Lahiru Handunnetthi of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, said the findings provide "clear evidence" that the season of birth has an effect in anorexia.

The researchers believe that environmental factors around the time of conception or when the baby is developing in the womb may be responsible.

Dr Handunnetthi said: "Seasonal changes in temperature, sunlight exposure and vitamin D levels, maternal nutrition and exposure to infections are all possible risk factors. Identifying these risk factors is important in helping us understand and maybe even prevent illness in future."

The findings are published in the May issue of the British Journal of Psychology.

Posted by Robert Mair on 28.4.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: