Sex ratio: Effect of environmental toxicants?
Travers, Mark J
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The Great Lakes are contaminated with a variety of long-lived chemical contaminants including polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxin and pesticides. This study examined the relation between consumption of sport fish and the secondary sex ratio in the 18,082 members of the New York State Angler Cohort. 5,392 first-born singleton offspring of the men in the cohort were identified via linkage to the New York State Birth Registry. Fathers who reported consuming sport fish from 1955 to 1969 and 1970 to 1979 had a significant 19% reduction in the odds of a male birth (95%CI 0.67-0.98). Maternal consumption for 6 or more years was associated with a 29% reduction in the odds of a male birth in births between 1972 and 1981(95%CI 0.51-1.01). The results are highly suggestive of both paternal and maternal consumption of sport fish during periods of high fish contamination resulting in a reduction in the secondary sex ratio.