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Posted on 03/29/2017 in Gynecology

Pregnancy Problems More Likely With Baby Boys?

FRIDAY, July 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Serious pregnancy complications are more likely when women are carrying baby boys, new research suggests.

After analyzing more than half a million births in Australia, researchers said the baby's gender could be linked to the health of both mother and child.

The sex of the baby has a direct association with pregnancy complications

Boy babies were more likely to be born early, which sets up infants for more health problems. Also, women carrying boys were slightly more likely to have diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), and pre-eclampsia, a serious high blood pressure condition, when ready to deliver.

Male gender is a risk factor for a lot of the complications right after birth, especially in the premature population. . A potential explanation is that the placenta, the organ that nourishes the developing fetus, is different in boys and girls.

In previous research involving normal pregnancies, Roberts' team found sex differences in the expression of 142 genes in the placenta. The researchers said that defects in how the placenta develops and works are linked with pregnancy complications.

Compared to girls, boys had 27 percent higher odds of preterm birth between 20 and 24 weeks' gestation; 24 percent greater risk for birth between 30 and 33 weeks; and 17 percent higher odds for delivery at 34 to 36 weeks, the study found. Full-term birth is between 39 and 41 weeks, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Moreover, gestational diabetes was 4 percent more likely in women carrying boys, and pre-eclampsia at term was 7.5 percent more likely with boys, the researchers said.

The advice, for now, is the same as for all women who become pregnant. That means eating a good diet and attempting to maintain a healthy weight before conceiving.

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