Being born first is bad for your health

February 18, 2013, 4:20 pmmenshealth

So you're older, smarter and more experienced than your younger siblings? Here's the downside . . .


By Markham Heid

Fun fact: firstborns are natural born leaders. More than half of US Presidents were firstborns.

Not so fun fact: being first out may also increase your risk for diabetes and high blood pressure, according to new research from the University of Auckland.

Researchers monitored the blood pressure and glucose absorption rates of 85 children. Insulin sensitivity—a major risk factor for diabetes—dropped 21 percent among firstborns compared to later-borns, the study found. The "oldest" also suffered from higher blood pressure, which could eventually develop into hypertension, according to the researchers.

Why firstborns?

Studies show a mother’s placenta, which provides a developing fetus with nutrients, may not work quite as well during first pregnancies, explains study author Wayne Cutfield, a professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Auckland.

But you’re not doomed if you’re the oldest—Cutfield says proven risk factors like poor diet or cigarette smoking also play major roles. Still, this news kind of sucks for firstborns.

The Good News

If you can dodge the diabetes and hypertension, the study found firstborns tend to be taller and slimmer than their siblings.

What else can your birth order say about you?

Find out what else does your birth order say about you?

Newest First
Oldest First
Top Rated
Most Replies


  1. Barry07:28am Monday 13th May 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Being the latter born of twins I thank goodness that my pushy sister was pushy enough to be born first after reading you article.

  2. artists11:29am Wednesday 20th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Whoever wrote this article must have strict restrictions on topics they can write on and only allowed to write garbage.

  3. Michael09:36am Wednesday 20th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I was first born, my younger brother, seven years my junior has had two serious heart attacks, and although I now have a stent in my heart (at 70 years of age) I still lead a full and independent life his heart problems happened in his forties. So go figure?

  4. Graham S08:31am Wednesday 20th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Help .... I'm a first born !!!!

  5. john12:48pm Tuesday 19th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    WTF seriously



Most Popular Articles