E-news: Birth month and autoimmune thyroid disease

What are the triggers for autoimmune disease?

Viral or bacterial infection has often been postulated as a precipitant for thyroid disease, so is there a relationship between the time of year or season of onset, fluctuations in potential precipitants, and timing of birth, which may have an effect on subsequent immune system development?

Hamilton et al analysed three large European datasets of caucasian patients to determine a relationship between month and onset of Grave's disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

Whilst no clear relationship for Graves' was uncovered, there was the suggestion that for some birth months (in the Autumn) there is a slightly higher rate of Hashimoto's for female patients in the OXAGEN AITD Caucasian Family Collection.