January 1985

Winter Births and Seasonal Affective Disorder-Reply

Author Affiliations

Clinical Psychobiology Branch National Institute of Mental Health Bldg 10, Room 4s-239 9000 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD 20852

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985;42(1):106. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790240108016

In Reply.—  Dr Ulwelling's comments are of great interest to us as we know of no studies that have showed a significant seasonal variation in the births of patients with affective disorders. However, several studies have shown a seasonal variation in the births of schizophrenics. Watson et al1 have reviewed this topic and presented data that suggest that infections rather than climatic influences may be responsible for this variation.We have analyzed the screening questionnaires of 254 patients with SAD and found no significant seasonal variation in births. When we divided the subjects into summer (April to September) and winter (October to March) births, we found a 6% excess of summer births. An analysis of the births of 75 patients with SAD who were personally interviewed by our staff yielded similarly negative results.If any seasonal influence on births exists in patients with SAD, it would probably be subtle, and a far

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