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BACKGROUND The ratio of male to female live births (i.e. the sex ratio) reportedly falls when populations suffer rare and extreme ambient stressors such as the collapse of national economies. This association has been attributed to the death of male fetuses and to reduced conception of males. We assess the validity of the first of these mechanisms by(More)
BACKGROUND Natural and man-made disasters as well as declining economies appear to coincide with reduced odds of male live births among humans (i.e. lower secondary sex ratio). This association has been attributed to excess death of males in gestation and to reduced conception of males. We attempt to empirically discriminate between these two attributions(More)
Well-developed theory implies that the human secondary sex ratio moves inversely over time with the level of anxiety and depression in the population. Few tests of this hypothesis, however, appear in the voluminous literature concerned with the sex ratio. These tests, moreover, employ designs that allow only weak inference. We contribute to the literature(More)
BACKGROUND We examined pregnancy outcomes in New York City (NYC) and upstate New York after the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center disaster. METHODS Using birth certificate data for NY residents (n = 1,660,401 births), we estimated risk of low birthweight (LBW: <2,500 g) and preterm birth (<37 weeks) one week after September 11th versus three weeks(More)
The theory that natural selection has conserved mechanisms by which women subjected to environmental stressors abort frail male fetuses implies that climate change may affect sex ratio at birth and male longevity. Using time series methods, we find that cold ambient temperatures during gestation predict lower secondary sex ratios and longer life span of(More)
BACKGROUND The human secondary sex ratio reportedly falls in populations subjected to exogenous stressors such as earthquakes or political and social upheavals. Explanations of the association include reduced conception of males and increased fetal deaths among males. The latter explanation has been supported by research reporting that the sex ratio in(More)
OBJECTIVE To estimate the shortage of mental health professionals in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). METHODS We used data from the World Health Organization's Assessment Instrument for Mental Health Systems (WHO-AIMS) from 58 LMICs, country-specific information on the burden of various mental disorders and a hypothetical core service delivery(More)
BACKGROUND Although studies have demonstrated that air pollution is associated with exacerbation of asthma symptoms in children with asthma, little is known about the susceptibility of subgroups, particularly those with atopy. OBJECTIVE This study was designed to evaluate our a priori hypothesis that identifiable subgroups of asthmatic children are more(More)
Most research describing the biological response to unemployment appears appropriately motivated by clinical or public health concerns and focuses on death, disease, and medical care. We argue that expanding the work to include other outcomes could contribute to basic science. As an example, we use the response to mass layoffs to discriminate between two(More)
While adverse conditions early in life reportedly predispose individuals to increased mortality in adulthood, controversy remains as to whether exogenous insults in utero, especially among male fetuses, induce similar cohort "damage" in populations. A rival theory postulates that exogenous stressors in gestation may "cull" frail male members of the cohort(More)