Male infants in developed nations are more likely to die than female infants, a fact that is partially responsible for men’s shorter lifespans, reveals a new study by researchers from University of Pennsylvania and University of Southern California.
The paper, which will be published online in the Monday, March 24 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analyzes 15 countries spanning three continents and hundreds of years. It finds that the gender gap in infant mortality was as high as 30 percent at its peak around 1970.
The disparity has narrowed in recent decades due to medical advancements that have helped more baby boys survive, specifically, caesarean sections and the spread of intensive care units for premature babies, the study found.
“The marked reversal of historical trends indicates that at an age when males and females experience very similar lives, they are very different in their biological vulnerability, but how different depends on environmental and medical conditions,” said corresponding author Eileen Crimmins, associate dean and professor at the USC Davis School of Gerontology.
In the 20th century the leading causes of infant death shifted from infectious diseases such as diarrheal diseases to congenital conditions and complications of childbirth and premature delivery, according to the study.
Boys are 60 percent more likely to be premature and to suffer from conditions arising from being born premature, such as respiratory distress syndrome. They are also at a higher risk of birth injury and mortality due to their larger body and head size.
The spread of intensive care units for infants has especially favored the survival of small and premature baby boys, the research found, because boys were more vulnerable across a range of weights. Since 1970, the percentage of deliveries by c-section has grown from an average of 5 percent to more than 20 percent. C-sections are also 20 percent more common for males.
The 15 countries analyzed include Sweden, France, Denmark, England/Wales, Norway, The Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, the United States, Spain, Australia, Canada, Belgium and Japan.
Suzanne Wu | EurekAlert!
Drought hits rivers first and more strongly than agriculture
06.09.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
Landslides triggered by human activity on the rise
23.08.2018 | European Geosciences Union
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.
Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...
Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles
Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...
When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.
We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...
Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...
Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...
17.10.2018 | Event News
16.10.2018 | Event News
02.10.2018 | Event News
19.10.2018 | Life Sciences
19.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
19.10.2018 | Trade Fair News