, Volume 24, Issue 9, pp 531-536

Work as a physician and adverse pregnancy outcomes: a Finnish nationwide population-based registry study

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Abstract

Work as a physician may be related to several occupational hazards. Only few studies have investigated the relations between work as a physician and the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and the results have been inconsistent. We conducted a nationwide population-based study in Finland to assess whether work as a physician during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. We identified from the 1990 to 2006 Finnish Medical Birth Register data all singleton newborns of physicians (N = 7,642) and other upper white collar workers (N = 124,606; as the reference group) from a source population of 946,392 singleton newborns. In generalized estimating equations, work as a physician was not related to low birth weight (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI 0.86–1.15), preterm delivery (1.00, 0.89–1.12), small-for-gestational age (1.04, 0.86–1.22), large-for-gestational age (1.00, 0.86–1.13), perinatal death (0.88, 0.49–1.27), and the female gender of the newborn (0.98, 0.94–1.03). The risk of high birth weight (4,000 g or more; 0.88, 0.84–0.93) and postterm delivery were lower (0.77, 0.65–0.89) among physicians than the reference group. The results indicate that Finnish female physicians have a similar risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes as women of similar socio-economic background.