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Environ Health Perspect. 2005 Oct;113(10):1295-8.

Declining sex ratio in a first nation community.

Author information

  • 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. cmack046@uottowa.ca

Abstract

Members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation community near Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, voiced concerns that there appeared to be fewer male children in their community in recent years. In response to these concerns, we assessed the sex ratio (proportion of male births) of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation over the period 1984-2003 as part of a community-based participatory research project. The trend in the proportion of male live births of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation has been declining continuously from the early 1990s to 2003, from an apparently stable sex ratio prior to this time. The proportion of male births (m) showed a statistically significant decline over the most recent 10-year period (1994-2003) (m = 0.412, p = 0.008) with the most pronounced decrease observed during the most recent 5 years (1999-2003) (m = 0.348, p = 0.006). Numerous factors have been associated with a decrease in the proportion of male births in a population, including a number of environmental and occupational chemical exposures. This community is located within the Great Lakes St. Clair River Area of Concern and is situated immediately adjacent to several large petrochemical, polymer, and chemical industrial plants. Although there are several potential factors that could be contributing to the observed decrease in sex ratio of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, the close proximity of this community to a large aggregation of industries and potential exposures to compounds that may influence sex ratios warrants further assessment into the types of chemical exposures for this population. A community health survey is currently under way to gather more information about the health of the Aamjiwnaang community and to provide additional information about the factors that could be contributing to the observed decrease in the proportion of male births in recent years.

PMID:
16203237
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1281269
Free PMC Article

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