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An adaptive significance of morning sickness? Trivers-Willard and Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
Number of Authors: 4
2016 (English)In: Economics and Human Biology, ISSN 1570-677X, E-ISSN 1873-6130, Vol. 21, 167-171 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nausea during pregnancy, with or without vomiting, is a common early indication of pregnancy in humans. The severe form, Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), can be fatal. The aetiology of HG is unknown. We propose that HG may be a proximate mechanism for the Trivers-Willard (T-W) evolutionary hypothesis that mothers in poor condition should favor daughters. Using Swedish linked registry data, 1987-2005, we analyze all pregnancies that resulted in an HG admission and/or a live birth, 1.65 million pregnancies in all. Consistent with the T-W hypothesis, we find that: (i) HG is associated with poor maternal condition as proxied by low education; (ii) HG in the first two months of pregnancy is associated with a 7% point increase in live girl births; and (iii) HG affected pregnancies have a 34-percent average rate of inferred pregnancy loss, higher among less educated women.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 21, 167-171 p.
Keyword [en]
Morning sickness, Adaptive significance, Trivers-Willard hypothesis, Girl birth
National Category
Economics and Business Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132513DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2016.02.001ISI: 000378970400015PubMedID: 26942454OAI: diva2:952926
Available from: 2016-08-16 Created: 2016-08-15 Last updated: 2016-08-16Bibliographically approved

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Palme, Mårten
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