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Women with heart disease have baby girls?

To-be-moms please note: Women with heart disease may be more likely to give birth to girls than boys, a new study has suggested. In the heart disease study, 32 boys were born for every 100 girls.

health and fitness Updated: Apr 23, 2012 19:40 IST

To-be-moms please note: Women with heart disease may be more likely to give birth to girls than boys, a new study has suggested.

Researchers from Tabriz University in Iran looked at more than 200 pregnant women diagnosed with heart disease and found that 75 per cent of the children born to the women were girls.

The number of boys born in any human population should be similar to the number of girls born, but the boy-to-girl ratio in any given country can vary depending on practices of sex selection. According to estimates, about 105 boys are born for every 100 girls in Iran.

In the heart disease study, 32 boys were born for every 100 girls. The reason behind the skewed sex ratio among babies born to women with heart disease is unclear, but the research team said their study spurs additional research into the link, LiveScience reported.

"Chromosomes in a man's sperm are responsible for the sex of a baby," Dr Kathryn Taubert, chief science officer at the World Heart Federation, said in a statement.

"But this study suggests that there may be a relationship between the health status of the mother and the sex of the babies that she is able to carry to full-term," said Taubert, who was not involved in the study.

The average age of women in the study, presented at the World Congress of Cardiology in Dubai last week, was 29. Most women (64 per cent) had a form of heart disease than involves problems with the heart valve.

Nineteen per cent had dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes weakened and enlarged, and is not able to pump blood efficiently. And about 14 per cent had a problem with their heart's structure and function that was present since birth.

Sperm carry either an X or Y chromosome, while eggs carry only an X chromosome. When a sperm cell with an X chromosome unites with an egg, a female born. When a sperm with a Y chromosome unites with an egg, a male is born. PTI SKP AKJ