Abstract

In industrialized countries, male excess is generally found in early deaths, despite the overall decrease in mortality. We studied the association between sex and some factors generally considered crucial for babies' survival, such as mother's age and education, birth order, and gestational age, in order to gain insight into the causes underlying the persisting higher vulnerability of male sex in early life. The analysis was performed on babies dying during the perinatal period. These were subdivided into those who were stillborn and those who died during the first week of extrauterine life. A higher male excess among babies dying during the neonatal period than among those who were stillborn was always found in all classes of all factors. The finding of such generalized male overmortality in the early extrauterine period of life, together with the patterns shown by the temporal sex ratio in stillbirths and in early deaths, supports the hypothesis of a postponement of male risk from late fetal into neonatal life.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-6617
Print ISSN
0018-7143
Pages
pp. 879-888
Launched on MUSE
2003-03-06
Open Access
No
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