New evidence for the Theory of the Stork

Authors


Dr Thomas Höfer, Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Thielallee 88–92, D-14195 Berlin, Germany.
E-mail: thomas.hoefer@bfr.bund.de

Summary

Data from Berlin (Germany) show a significant correlation between the increase in the stork population around the city and the increase in deliveries outside city hospitals (out-of-hospital deliveries). However, there is no correlation between deliveries in hospital buildings (clinical deliveries) and the stork population. The decline in the number of pairs of storks in the German state of Lower Saxony between 1970 and 1985 correlated with the decrease of deliveries in that area. The nearly constant number of deliveries from 1985 to 1995 was associated with an unchanged stork population (no statistical significance). However, the relevance of the stork for the birth rate in that part of Germany remains unclear, because the number of out-of-hospital deliveries in this area is not well documented. A lack of statistical information on out-of-hospital deliveries in general is a severe handicap for further proof for the Theory of the Stork.

Ancillary