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Boy or girl? Mother’s BP may predict sex of baby

thanks: Times of India

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Toronto: The sex of a baby may be predicted by the mother’s blood pressure, according to a new study which found that women with lower BP before pregnancy are more likely to give birth to a girl.

Researchers led by Dr Ravi Retnakaran, endocrinologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Canada found that while higher blood pressure was an indication that a boy was more likely to be conceived, women with lower blood pressure tended to give birth to a girl.

This “suggests that a woman’s blood pressure before pregnancy is a previously unrecognised factor that is associated with her likelihood of delivering a boy or a girl,” said Retnakaran.

“This novel insight may hold implications for both reproductive planning and our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underlying the sex ratio in humans,” he said.

The possibility of predicting the sex of the baby in early pregnancy has long been a topic of public fascination, spawning numerous theories of maternal characteristics associated with the presence of a male or female foetus.

These observations raise the possibility that there may be underlying differences that relate to a woman’s likelihood of sex-specific fetal loss and hence her likelihood of delivering a boy or girl. However, little is known about such factors in humans.

Researchers established a unique pre-conception cohort consisting of young women who were planning to have a pregnancy in the near future and used the model to evaluate the relationship between maternal pre-pregnancy health and the sex of the baby.

Participants underwent baseline medical assessment at recruitment and then, whenever they subsequently became pregnant, were followed across the pregnancy up to delivery through their clinical care.

Beginning in February 2009, researchers recruited 3375 women in Liuyang, China. Of these, 1,692 women were assessed for blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose.

After the exclusion of 281 women who were potentially pregnant at their baseline assessment based on back-dating of the length of gestation at delivery, the study population for the analysis consisted of 1,411 women who were assessed at median 26.3 weeks before pregnancy.

dedicated by: Kavignar Thanigai.

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1,300 Die of Cancer Every Day in India

NEW DELHI:  With more than 1,300 persons succumbing to cancer every day, it has become one of the major causes of death occurring in the country due to communicable and life-style ailments, followed by tuberculosis.

As per data of the National Cancer Registry Programme of the India Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the estimated mortality rate due to cancer saw an increase of six per cent approximately between 2012 and 2014.

“There has been close to 5 lakh deaths due to cancer in the country in 2014,” said a senior Health Ministry official.

 THANKS :NDTV
DEDICATED BY: KAVINGNAR THANIGAI.

Total of 4,91,598 people died in 2014 out of 28,20,179 cases, while in 2013 it was 4,78,180 deaths out of 29,34,314 cases reported and in 2012, around 4,65,169 people lost their lives due to the disease when the number of cases stood at 30,16,628.

“Large number of ageing population, unhealthy lifestyles, use of tobacco and tobacco products, unhealthy diets, lack of diagnostic facilities, etc. are some of the factors that can be attributed to the increase in the number of cancer deaths,” the official said.

The government has approved a scheme in 2013-14 for enhancing the specialised consultative care for cancer in the country and guidelines for strengthening of the facilities were circulated to the states in January 2014.

Tuberculosis caused the second highest number of deaths in the country with 63,265 casualties in 2011, 61,887 in 2012 and 57,095 in 2013, as per records of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme.

The government, under the programme, provides free of cost diagnosis and treatment facilities including anti-TB drugs to patients.

“We have established designated microscopy centres for quality diagnosis of every one lakh population in the general areas and for every 50,000 population in the tribal, hilly and difficult areas,” the official said.

There are 13,000 microscopy centres in the country and more than six lakh directly observed treatment centres, the official added.