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Untreated asthma in pregnant women affects male and female fetuses differently. It increases the risk of males dying before birth and reduces the growth in female fetuses. Treatment with inhaled steroid medication can normalize female fetus growth. These findings are important as roughly 15% of New Zealanders suffer from asthma. Males made up 93% of unexplained fetal deaths with asthmatic mothers compared to 51% in non-asthmatic mothers. This research may also have implications on determining dosage of glucocorticoid drugs to prevent premature birth based on sex of the fetus.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by The New Zealand Herald
About: Untreated asthma affects male and female fetuses differently
Date: 2 December 2004
Source: The New Zealand Herald
Author: Martin Johnston
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