Stress of 911 Linked To Decrease In Male Babies Born With Birth Defects Interview with:
Parvati Singh B. Tech, MBA, MPA
PhD student, Department of Public Health,
University of California, Irvine and
Dr. Tim Bruckner, first author What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This study builds upon earlier research by our group which showed that male fetal deaths rose and the number of liveborn males fell after the 9/11 attacks. Here we show that, in California, the number of live born males with birth defects fell after 9/11.

This finding appears consistent with the notion that frail male gestations, such as those with defects, may have been lost in utero as a result of the stress induced by the 9/11 attacks. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response:  Our study points towards a potential mechanism through which pregnant women respond to external, unexpected stressors. In addition, our results support the possibility that the prevalence of birth defects depends, in part, on the strength of in utero selection against frail gestations. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response:  Future research can build upon our study by examining other external stressors, testing our results for a wider set of birth defects, and analyzing which sets of mechanisms during pregnancy trigger spontaneous loss. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response:   Our findings add to the current understanding of causes of temporal variation in birth defects. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


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Last Updated on July 21, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD