Document Detail


Selection against small males in utero: a test of the Wells hypothesis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22298840     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
BACKGROUND: The argument that women in stressful environments spontaneously abort their least fit fetuses enjoys wide dissemination despite the fact that several of its most intuitive predictions remain untested. The literature includes no tests, for example, of the hypothesis that these mechanisms select against small for gestational age (SGA) males.
METHODS: We apply time-series modeling to 4.9 million California male term births to test the hypothesis that the rate of SGA infants in 1096 weekly birth cohorts varies inversely with labor market contraction, a known stressor of contemporary populations.
RESULTS: We find support for the hypothesis that small size becomes less frequent among term male infants when the labor market contracts.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings contribute to the evidence supporting selection in utero. They also suggest that research into the association between maternal stress and adverse birth outcomes should acknowledge the possibility that fetal loss may affect findings and their interpretation. Strengths of our analyses include the large number and size of our birth cohorts and our control for autocorrelation. Weaknesses include that we, like nearly all researchers in the field, have no direct measure of fetal loss.
Authors:
R Catalano; J Goodman; C E Margerison-Zilko; K B Saxton; E Anderson; M Epstein
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-02-01
Journal Detail:
Title:  Human reproduction (Oxford, England)     Volume:  27     ISSN:  1460-2350     ISO Abbreviation:  Hum. Reprod.     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-03-15     Completed Date:  2013-01-09     Revised Date:  2013-06-26    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8701199     Medline TA:  Hum Reprod     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1202-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. rayc@berkeley.edu
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology*
Birth Weight
California / epidemiology
Cohort Studies
Economics*
Employment / psychology
Female
Humans
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Small for Gestational Age*
Male
Models, Biological
Pregnancy
Pregnancy Outcome
Selection, Genetic
Socioeconomic Factors
Stress, Psychological*
Grant Support
ID/Acronym/Agency:
HD07275/HD/NICHD NIH HHS
Comments/Corrections

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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