Exposure to infectious pathogens is a frequent occupational hazard for women who work with patients, children, animals or animal products. The purpose of the present study is to investigate if women working in occupations where exposure to infections agents is common have a high risk of infections and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
We used data from the Danish National Birth Cohort, a population-based cohort study and studied the risk of Infection and adverse outcomes in pregnant women working with patients, with children, with food products or with animals. The regression analysis were adjusted for the following covariates: maternal age, parity, history of miscarriage, socio-occupational status, pre-pregnancy body mass index, smoking habit, alcohol consumption.
Pregnant women who worked with patients or children or food products had an excess risk of sick leave during pregnancy for more than three days. Most of negative reproductive outcomes were not increased in these occupations but the prevalence of congenital anomalies (CAs) was slightly higher in children of women who worked with patients. The prevalence of small for gestational age infants was higher among women who worked with food products. There was no association between occupation infections during pregnancy and the risk of reproductive failures in the exposed groups. However, the prevalence of CAs was slightly higher among children of women who suffered some infection during pregnancy but the numbers were small.
Despite preventive strategies, working in specific jobs during pregnancy may impose a higher risk of infections, and working in some of these occupations may impose a slightly higher risk of CAs in their offspring. Most other reproductive failures were not increased in these occupations.
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To explore the relation between employment status, type of unemployment and pregnancy outcomes.
A cohort study of 7,282 pregnancies of unemployed women and 56,014 pregnancies among women in paid jobs was performed within the Danish National Birth Cohort. Pregnancy outcomes were ascertained and information about lifestyle, occupational, medical, and obstetric factors was obtained. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) for fetal loss, congenital anomalies, multiple births, sex ratio, preterm and very preterm birth and small for gestational age status, adjusting for lifestyle, medical and obstetric factors.
There were no differences in pregnancy outcomes between employed and unemployed women but women receiving unemployment benefit had an increased risk of preterm birth (adjusted OR (aOR) 1.16, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.03-1.31) and having a small for gestational age child (aOR 1.08, 95% CI 1.00-1.19) compared with employed women. Women receiving sickness or maternity benefit had an increased risk of multiple birth (aOR 1.70, 95% CI 1.43-2.04), preterm (aOR 1.47, 95% CI 1.22-1.77) and very preterm birth (aOR 1.88, 95% CI 1.22-2.89), while those receiving an unreported type of support had an increased risk of preterm birth (aOR 1.40, 95% CI 1.02-1.93).
We found no indication that being unemployed during pregnancy benefits or endangers the health of the child. Within the subgroups of unemployed women, we observed that women receiving unemployment and sickness or maternity benefits were at higher risk for some adverse pregnancy outcomes.