Next Article in Journal
Geospatial Information Systems Analysis of Regional Environmental Change along the Savannah River Basin of Georgia
Previous Article in Journal
Vehicle-Dependent Disposition Kinetics of Fluoranthene in Fisher-344 Rats
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2008, 5(1), 49-53;

A Method to Model Season of Birth as a Surrogate Environmental Risk Factor for Disease

Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and John A. Burns School of Medicine, 651 Ilalo Street, Biosciences Bldg. 320-B, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Cancer Epidemiology Research Cooperative, POB 19024, 1100 Fairview Ave North, MS M4-C308, Seattle, WA 98109-1024 USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 September 2007 / Accepted: 29 February 2008 / Published: 30 March 2008
Full-Text   |   PDF [118 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


Environmental exposures, including some that vary seasonally, may play a role in the development of many types of childhood diseases such as cancer. Those observed in children are unique in that the relevant period of exposure is inherently limited or perhaps even specific to a very short window during prenatal development or early infancy. As such, researchers have investigated whether specific childhood cancers are associated with season of birth. Typically a basic method for analysis has been used, for example categorization of births into one of four seasons, followed by simple comparisons between categories such as via logistic regression, to obtain odds ratios (ORs), confidence intervals (CIs) and p-values. In this paper we present an alternative method, based upon an iterative trigonometric logistic regression model used to analyze the cyclic nature of birth dates related to disease occurrence. Disease birth-date results are presented using a sinusoidal graph with a peak date of relative risk and a single p-value that tests whether an overall seasonal association is present. An OR and CI comparing children born in the 3-month period around the peak to the symmetrically opposite 3-month period also can be obtained. Advantages of this derivative-free method include ease of use, increased statistical power to detect associations, and the ability to avoid potentially arbitrary, subjective demarcation of seasons. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sinusoidal logistic regression; season of birth; childhood cancer Sinusoidal logistic regression; season of birth; childhood cancer
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Efird, J.T.; Nielsen, S.S. A Method to Model Season of Birth as a Surrogate Environmental Risk Factor for Disease. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2008, 5, 49-53.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top