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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


CHIAVEGATTO FILHO, Alexandre Dias Porto  and  LAURENTI, Ruy. The vulnerable male, or the sex ratio among fetal deaths in Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.28, n.4, pp.720-728. ISSN 1678-4464.

Some studies indicate the existence of innate male vulnerabilities, especially during the perinatal period. The current study is a cross-sectional analysis of fetal mortality in Brazil according to sex from 2000 to 2009, stratified by maternal characteristics (age, schooling, and gestational age), using Ministry of Health data (DATASUS). The analysis included all fetal deaths from 2000 to 2009, except when the sex of the fetus was not recorded. The male/female sex ratio (SR) for all fetal deaths was 1.188. Analysis of maternal characteristics showed that the SR was statistically higher (p < 0.01) in mothers that were younger (10-14 years), had no formal schooling, and with gestational age < 22 weeks. The study showed a statistically higher-than-expected SR (p < 0.01) for 13 underlying causes of death and a lower SR for two others. The results suggest a potential innate male vulnerability.

Keywords : Sex Ratio; Fetal Mortality; Men's Health.

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