Document Detail

Was the widespread decline in sex ratios at birth caused by reproductive hazards?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9619575     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
There has been a decline in sex ratio at birth in recent decades in many countries. The question arises whether polluting environmental endocrine disrupters may have been responsible. It is suggested here that we are not (and will not soon become) in a position to know this because: (i) we do not know what those sex ratios would have been doing in the absence of such proposed polluters and (ii) there are plausible alternative explanations which themselves offer little prospect for testing. In short, the population sex ratio at birth seems not to be a useful monitor of reproductive hazard unless it were to change at a dramatically greater rate than has ever been reported. This is not to deny that offspring sex ratios of selected samples of workers have proved useful non-invasive indicators of reproductive hazard. However, the recent tiny recorded secular declines in population sex ratios are distracting attention from the huge and unexplained changes in other monitors of reproductive hazard, e.g. the widespread decline in dizygotic twinning rates 1960-1980 and the recent probable decline in sperm counts.
W H James
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Human reproduction (Oxford, England)     Volume:  13     ISSN:  0268-1161     ISO Abbreviation:  Hum. Reprod.     Publication Date:  1998 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-08-06     Completed Date:  1998-08-06     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8701199     Medline TA:  Hum Reprod     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1083-4     Citation Subset:  IM    
The Galton Laboratory, University College London, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Environmental Pollution*
Infant, Newborn*
Reproduction / physiology*
Sex Ratio*

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

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