Annual Birth Sex Odds (1971-2021) in the Vicinity of Military Training Grounds in Germany: Interrupted Time Series Analysis

Hagen Scherb,

Published on: 2023-05-08


Background: Increases in human birth sex odds have been documented after the atomic bomb tests, after Chernobyl, and in the vicinity of nuclear facilities. Little attention has been paid to contaminations in the vicinity of training areas possibly affecting the health of women and their offspring. In the military training grounds Bergen and Munster in Germany, projectiles containing depleted uranium were fired in the summer of 1983.
Method: Counts of annual live births by gender for five municipalities near the military areas were obtained from the Lower Saxony State Office for Statistics. Time trend analyses employing logistic regression for male proportions and Poisson regression for gender-specific absolute birth counts were carried out. Possible level shifts in the sex odds and the birth count from 1984 onward were estimated and tested.
Results: The sex odds trend from 1971 to 2021 revealed a significant jump in 1984 with a sex odds ratio (SOR) of 1.097, 95% CI (1.038, 1.159), and p-value 0.0010. The rest of Lower Saxony, by which the regression was adjusted as a negative control, showed no corresponding change point effect from 1984 onwards: sex odds ratio (SOR) 0.999, (0.995, 1.004), p-value 0.7436.
Conclusion: This observation corroborates previous findings of increased sex odds after the atmospheric nuclear tests, after the Chernobyl accident, and near nuclear facilities, especially after distinct radiological events.

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