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Dr. Jamie Fettig

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Let the Sun Shine In (Especially When Pregnant)

Are you shorter than you had hoped or expected to be? Well, although genes play a large role in a person's final adult height, new research suggests that the amount of sunlight that a woman is exposed to during her pregnancy may have a lot to do with it as well.

Researchers note that:

Several recent studies have reported a causal association between stature and month of birth. Perinatal exposure to sunlight has been suggested as the principal factor underlying this relationship, although the mechanisms involved remain a matter of debate.
They analyzed the association of perinatal sunlight exposure to birth size and height at regular intervals all the way up to age 26.

"The findings confirmed that pre-natal sunlight is one of the most significant determinants of height," conclude the researchers, although they are unsure of the trimester of greatest influence.

Early Human Development November 1, 2000; 60: 35-42


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