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Paternal Occupational Exposures and the Risk of Down Syndrome


Olshan, Andrew F.; Baird, Patricia A.; & Teschke, Kay (1989). Paternal Occupational Exposures and the Risk of Down Syndrome. American Journal of Human Genetics, 44(5), 646-651. PMCID: PMC1715649


An exploratory case-control study of paternal occupation as a risk factor for Down syndrome was conducted. With the use of the British Columbia Health Surveillance Registry, 1,008 cases of live-born Down syndrome were identified for the period 1952-73. Two controls were matched to each case by using the birth files of British Columbia. Paternal occupation was obtained from the birth notice. Elevated maternal age-adjusted relative risks of Down syndrome were found for fathers employed as janitors (odds ratio [OR] = 3.26; 95% confidence interval [C.I.] = 1.02-10.44); mechanics (OR = 3.27; C.I. = 1.57-6.80); farm managers/workers (OR = 2.03; C.I. = 1.25-3.03); material-moving equipment operators (OR = 1.88; C.I. = 0.93-3.82); food processors (OR = 1.79; C.I. = 0.96-3.31); sheet-metal workers, iron workers, and other metalworkers (OR = 1.57; C.I. = 0.92-2.69); and sawmill workers (OR = 1.43; C.I. = 0.90-2.66). This large study provides new leads for further evaluation of the role of paternal exposures in the etiology of Down syndrome.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Human Genetics


Olshan, Andrew F.
Baird, Patricia A.
Teschke, Kay