Research Article

Are all born equal? Incidence of febrile convulsions by seasons of birth.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 284 doi: (Published 27 February 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;284:624
  1. R Sunderland,
  2. R G Carpenter,
  3. A Gardner


    To test whether the seasons of birth had an effect on subsequent experience of illness, details were obtained of all Sheffield children born between 1973 and 1977 who were admitted to hospital before their second birthday with a first febrile convulsion. Analysis by date of birth in consecutive 28-day cohorts showed that the incidence of febrile convulsions ranged from 2.5 per thousand live births to 30.2 per thousand in different "month" cohorts. Statistically significant variations were noted in the incidence rates in relation to season and year of birth. The implication is that even large scale epidemiological studies which have been confined to children born in a particular week or month may not be representative of the whole child population.