Investigating the affect of heterosis on childhood mortality

Marie Pointer, University of Cambridge and Jack Bowden, Medical Research Council

[Project number 30119]

The aim of this project is to use ONS data to investigate whether children produced by parents with a large parental distance have a greater survival rate than those from parents with a short parental distance, and hence display heterosis. Parental distance is the distance between the parents' places of birth.

To address the ideas outlined above it is proposed to use longitudinal study data to assess if stillbirths and/or childhood mortality are affected by parental distance, i.e. the distance in miles between the birthplace of the mother and father. This is a reasonable though not perfect proxy for genetic ancestry4 as the grandparents may have migrated themselves. It would therefore be interesting to note the self-described ethnicity of the parents and determine whether this correlates with birth place.

The analysis will utilise correlational statistics, i.e. regression analysis to test for a significant association between parental distance and childhood mortality/stillbirth