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Your allergy horoscope: Was your hay fever written in the stars?


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If you have asthma or other allergies and you were born in the fall or winter, that might not be a coincidence. According to a new study, you have a sort of allergy horoscope—that is, what season you are born in could influence what allergic diseases you develop.

The study found that certain DNA markers are linked to the season in which you’re born. The markers then seem to indicate your risk of an allergic disease like asthma or eczema.

Researchers looked at DNA samples from 367 18-year-olds from England, analyzing DNA methylation—the markers—and whether they were associated with allergies and seasons. They measured how susceptible each person was to allergies, and whether they reported certain allergic diseases like hay fever and asthma at different ages. The results were then confirmed in another sample of children.

The findings are sort of like your zodiac sign. If you were born in the fall, researchers say you carry a DNA marker that makes you more likely to have eczema. Autumn or winter baby? You have a higher chance of getting asthma.

“It might sound like a horoscope by the seasons, but now we have scientific evidence for how that horoscope could work,” Dr. Gabrielle Lockett, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southampton and first author of the study, said. “Because season of birth influences so many things, the epigenetic marks discovered in this study could also potentially be the mechanism for other seasonally influenced diseases and traits too, not just allergy.”

This gives a whole new meaning to “written in the stars.”

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By Brittney McNamara for Teen Vogue
This post originally appeared on Teen Vogue