Occupational exposures among nurses and risk of spontaneous abortion

Objective : We investigated self-reported occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs, anesthetic gases, antiviral drugs, sterilizing agents (disinfectants), and X-rays and the risk of spontaneous abortion in US nurses.
Study Design : Pregnancy outcome and occupational exposures were collected retrospectively from 8461 participants of the Nurses' Health Study II. Of these, 7482 were eligible for analysis using logistic regression.
Results : Participants reported 6707 live births, and 775 (10%) spontaneous abortions (<20 weeks). After adjusting for age, parity, shift work, and hours worked, antineoplastic drug exposure was associated with a 2-fold increased risk of spontaneous abortion, particularly with early spontaneous abortion before the 12th week, and 3.5-fold increased risk among nulliparous women. Exposure to sterilizing agents was associated with a 2-fold increased risk of late spontaneous abortion (12-20 weeks), but not with early spontaneous abortion.
Conclusion : This study suggests that certain occupational exposures common to nurses are related to risks of spontaneous abortion.

Source : Christina C. Lawson, PhDa, Carissa M. Rocheleau, PhDa, Elizabeth A. Whelan, PhDa, Eileen N. Lividoti Hibert, MAb, Barbara Grajewski, PhDa, Donna Spiegelman, ScDd, e, Janet W. Rich-Edwards, ScD. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2011.

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