European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 24, Issue 9, pp 531–536

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

  • Reginald Quansah
  • Mika Gissler
  • Jouni J. K. Jaakkola

DOI: 10.1007/s10654-009-9369-0

Cite this article as:
Quansah, R., Gissler, M. & Jaakkola, J.J.K. Eur J Epidemiol (2009) 24: 531. doi:10.1007/s10654-009-9369-0


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.


Physicians Adverse pregnancy outcomes Low birth weight Small-for-gestational age 



Confidence interval


Odds ratio


Medical birth register


National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reginald Quansah
    • 1
  • Mika Gissler
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jouni J. K. Jaakkola
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Occupational and Environmental MedicineUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  2. 2.THL National Institute for Health and WelfareHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Nordic School of Public HealthGothenburgSweden
  4. 4.Institute of Health SciencesUniversity of OuluOuluFinland

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