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In China, Sex Differences Reflected at Birth and Death

Last Updated: April 10, 2009.

China's skewed sex ratios and its different male and female end-of-life experiences are examined in two population studies published online April 9 in BMJ.


Studies examine skewed male-to-female population and end-of-life sex disparities

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FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- China's skewed sex ratios and its different male and female end-of-life experiences are examined in two population studies published online April 9 in BMJ.

In one study, Wei Xing Zhu, of Zhejiang Normal University in China, and colleagues analyzed China's 2005 population survey (n=4,764,512) to assess the sex ratio of men to women at birth and in the under-20 population resulting from sex-selective abortion and China's one-child policy. The researchers found high male to female sex ratios across all age groups, with the 1-4 years age group highest at 126 males per 100 females overall and six provinces topping 130. The researchers said abortion for sex selection, which is banned in China, was the predominant reason for the excess count of males.

In another study, Matthew E. Dupre, of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues analyzed data from the Chinese longitudinal healthy longevity survey of 13,717 people aged 65 or older to assess the association between frailty and death. Type-of-death categories included being bedridden for fewer than 30 days and bedridden for 30 days or more, with and without suffering. The researchers found that men were most likely to be bedridden with suffering for more than 30 days before death (relative risk ratio, 8.70) and women most likely to be bedridden 30 or more days without suffering (relative risk ratio, 11.53).

"The association between frailty and type of death differs by sex and age. Health scholars and clinical practitioners should consider age and sex differences in frailty to develop more effective measures to reduce preventable suffering before death," Dupre and colleagues conclude.

Abstract- Wei Xing Zhu
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Abstract - Dupre
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