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April/May 2016 (vol. 12/6)

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Research Plus

Reproductive risks for hairdressers and cosmetologists

Hairdressers and cosmetologists (H&Cs) are at significantly raised risk of certain female reproductive disorders, this meta-analysis of 19 studies finds. Six studies – five using questionnaires and one registry-based – examined the risk of infertility and found a significantly elevated odds ratio (OR) of 1.15 (CI 1.03–1.28) among H&Cs. Meta-analysis of eight studies found a slight but significant raised risk of pre-term delivery (OR = 1.04; CI 1.00–1.07), which remained when restricted to the five registry-based studies. An increased risk of foetal death was found from nine papers (OR = 1.14, CI 1.04–1.2), but was not significant when the analysis was restricted to the three registry-based studies. The pooled risk estimate of small-for-gestational-age babies (seven studies) showed no significant increase among H&Cs. No increased risk was found for low-birth weight (eight studies). Possible methodological bias inherent in the studies included the use of different reference groups, whereas these should have been women with similar socioeconomic backgrounds and working conditions.


International Archives of Occupational & Environmental Health 2016; online first: doi: 10.1007/s00420-016-1112-z.


Occupational Health at Work April/May 2016 (vol. 12/6) pp39