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April/May 2017 (vol. 13/6)

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Research Plus

Work-related risk factors for pregnancy outcomes

Occupational physical activity was associated with higher risk of preterm birth (PTB) and small-for-gestational age (SGA) babies – both with a dose–response relationship – this US cohort study found. Data were obtained for 5,926 singleton births, 8% of which were preterm; SGA data were available for 5,830 of them. Exposure to work factors were estimated by taking detailed work histories from each mother in the cohort for all their jobs that lasted at least one month, from three months before pregnancy to the date the pregnancy ended. After adjustment for maternal age, race/ethnicity, education and smoking, high levels of occupational physical activity were significantly associated with SGA (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) for highest versus lowest physical activity categories = 1.36; CI 1.02–1.82; p for trend = 0.001) and PTB (AOR = 1.24; CI 0.93–1.64; p for trend=0.01). There were no associations with psychosocial stressors (interpersonal stressor, automated work, or job responsibility).

Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2017; 2017; 74: 192–199


Occupational Health at Work April/May 2017 (vol. 13/6) pp40