Gender does matter in perinatal medicine

Fetal Diagn Ther. Jul-Aug 2004;19(4):366-9. doi: 10.1159/000077967.

Abstract

Objective: To investigate complications and outcome of pregnancies with male and female fetuses.

Methods: A population-based study comparing all singleton deliveries between the years 1988 and 1999 was performed. We compared pregnancies with male vs. female fetuses. Patients with a previous cesarean section (CS) were excluded from the study. Statistical analyses with the Mantel-Haenszel technique and multiple logistic regression models were performed to control for confounders.

Results: During the study period there were 55,891 deliveries of male and 53,104 deliveries of female neonates. Patients carrying male fetuses had higher rates of gestational diabetes mellitus (OR = 1.1; 95% CI 1.01-1.12; p = 0.012), fetal macrosomia (OR = 2.0; 95% CI 1.8-2.1; p < 0.001), failure to progress during the first and second stages of labor (OR = 1.2; 95% CI 1.1-1.3; p < 0.001 and OR = 1.4; 95% CI 1.3-1.5; p < 0.001, respectively), cord prolapse (OR = 1.3; 95% CI 1.1-1.6; p = 0.014), nuchal cord (OR = 1.2; 95% CI 1.1-1.2; p < 0.001) and true umbilical cord knots (OR = 1.5; 95% CI 1.3-1.7; p < 0.001). Higher rates of CS were found among male compared with female neonates (8.7 vs. 7.9%; OR = 1.1; 95% CI 1.06-1.16; p < 0.001). Using three multivariate logistic regression models and controlling for birth weight and gestational age, male gender was significantly associated with non-reassuring fetal heart rate patterns (OR = 1.5; 95% CI 1.4-1.6; p < 0.001), low Apgar scores at 5 min (OR = 1.5; 95% CI 1.3-1.8; p < 0.001) and CS (OR = 1.2; 95%CI 1.2-1.3; p < 0.001). Controlling for possible confounders like gestational diabetes, cord prolapse, failed induction, nonprogressive labor, fetal macrosomia, nuchal cord and true umbilical cord knots using the Mantel-Haenszel technique did not change the significant association between male gender and CS.

Conclusion: Male gender is an independent risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcome.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Perinatal Care* / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Sex Characteristics*