The month of your birth could hold the key to your future health, scientists have said.

They claim that those planning families should therefore think more carefully about the birth month, to minimise the risks of diseases in later life. They believe many of the differences could be attributed to the pregnant mother's exposure to sunlight.

Exposure to sunlight triggers vitamin D production in the body, and scientists believe exposure to this may have a lasting impact on mental and physical health.

The study discovered that babies born in certain months were at greater risk of certain diseases and conditions than others. For example, babies born in April in Scotland were 50 per cent more likely to develop multiple sclerosis than those born in November.

Professor Russell Foster, an Oxford University neuroscientist and expert on seasonal biology said: "These are small effects but they are very, very clear. I am not giving voice to astrology - it's nonsense - but we are not immune to seasonal interference."

Posted by Robert Mair on 10.6.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com