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Male and Female Occupation in Relation to Miscarriage and Preterm Delivery in Central North Carolina


Savitz, David A.; Brett, Kate M.; Dole, Nancy; & Tse, Chiu-Kit J. (1997). Male and Female Occupation in Relation to Miscarriage and Preterm Delivery in Central North Carolina. Annals of Epidemiology, 7(7), 509-516.


Purpose: This study was undertaken to evaluate the role of parental occupation in miscarriage and preterm delivery. Previous studies raise the possibility that both male and female exposures could affect pregnancy.
Methods: Data from a population-based study of miscarriage and preterm delivery in central North Carolina were used to examine potential associations with male and female occupation. Medically treated miscarriage cases (n = 418), preterm delivery cases identified through hospital record review (n = 582), and term, normal birth weight controls (n = 787) were sought for telephone interview. The interview included information on jobs the woman held before and during the pregnancy, reports of her partner's job around the time of pregnancy, and information on potential confounding factors.
Results: Female employment overall, or in specific jobs, around the time of conception or early pregnancy was not associated with the risk of miscarriage, whereas working during pregnancy, especially in the seventh month, was inversely associated with risk of preterm delivery. Male employment in several industrial occupations was weakly associated with miscarriage (adjusted odds ratios (OR) of 1.6 to 1.8), and somewhat more strongly associated with preterm delivery, particularly for chemists and sheet metal workers (adjusted OR over 3). Restriction to married men strengthened the associations.
Conclusions: Our results are limited by nonresponse, imprecision, incomplete identification of miscarriages, and lack of detailed occupational exposure information. Nonetheless, we found greater support for further examination of male compared to female jobs in relation to pregnancy outcome.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Annals of Epidemiology


Savitz, David A.
Brett, Kate M.
Dole, Nancy
Tse, Chiu-Kit J.