Preterm birth: Boys more likely to be born early than girls

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: A new research finds that baby boys are more likely to be born premature than girls and are at a higher risk of death and disability ranging from learning problems and blindness to deafness.

According to the report, about 55 percent of preterm births in 2010 were male.

The finding comes from a series of international studies being published Friday that examine newborn health and prematurity. About 15 million babies worldwide are born too soon, most of them in Africa and parts of Asia where survival is difficult for fragile newborns. Globally, about 1 million babies die as a direct result of preterm birth and another million die of conditions for which prematurity is an added risk, the researchers calculated.

Overall, what is the actual reason behind this difference between the girls and the boys is not fully understood, but, one partial explanation for more preterm births among boys can be touted is that the mothers carrying boys are likelier to suffer from placental complications and high blood pressure.

(With Agency inputs)