Study links smoking to female offspring

April 9, 2007

A study in Britain suggests that parents who are smokers at the time of conception are more likely to have a female child.

The Independent reported on the study, which suggests that having a male baby drops by as much as 50 percent if the parents are both smokers.

The research, done by pediatricians at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, also suggests smoking raises the chances of a miscarriage. Researchers reportedly found that substances contained in cigarettes, such as nicotine, inhibit sperm carrying male chromosomes from fertilizing eggs.

The study looked at 9,000 women who gave birth between 1998 and 2003 at the Liverpool Women's Hospital. The Independent reported that the study also found that women who were exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy were also less likely to give birth to male infants.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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