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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 217–221 | Cite as

Association of Maternal Work with Adverse Perinatal Outcome

  • Mostafa A. Arafa
  • Taher Amine
  • Moataz Abdel Fattah
Commentaire

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the relationship between maternal work and pregnancy outcome.

Methods

Over a 4-month period from October 2004 through February 2005, 2,419 women were interviewed shortly after delivery in the three main public and Health Insurance hospitals in Alexandria, Egypt. Of these, 730 (30.2%) were working and 1,689 (69.8%) were not working prior to delivery. A detailed description of working status was analyzed, along with a risk profile which was compared between the two groups.

Results

There was no significant association between different work characteristics and perinatal outcomes except for that between working posture, stress and delivery of smallfor-gestational-age (SGA) babies. There was an excess rate of SGA and perinatal death among the non-working group, while preterm delivery was significantly increased among those who worked throughout the whole pregnancy. After adjusting for confounders, the risk of preterm delivery was no longer significant (OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 0.96-1.7). On the other hand, working status had a beneficial effect on SGA and perinatal death (OR = 0.41, 95% CI = 0.26-0.64 and OR = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.14-0.48, respectively).

Conclusion

These results cast doubt on the risk of adverse pregnancy outcome for women who work during pregnancy. Work per se does not constitute a health risk factor and may even have a positive social impact on pregnancy. Further research on this topic in our region is recommended.

MeSH terms

Maternal work adverse pregnancy outcome developing countries strenuous work 

Résumé

Objectif

Étudier la relation entre le travail pendant la grossesse et les résultats périnatals.

Méthode

Nous avons interviewé 2 419 femmes peu de temps après leur accouchement dans les trois principaux hôpitaux publics et privés d’Alexandrie, en Égypte, sur une période de quatre mois. Parmi ces femmes parturientes, 730 (30,2 %) avaient travaillé et 1 689 (69,8 %) n’avaient pas travaillé pendant leur grossesse. Nous avons analysé des descriptions détaillées du travail effectué et comparé le profil de risques des deux groupes.

Résultats

Nous n’avons observé aucune association significative entre les diverses caractéristiques du travail et les résultats périnatals, exception faite d’un lien entre la posture au travail, la tension et l’accouchement d’un bébé petit pour son âge gestationnel (PAG). Les taux de PAG et de décès périnatal étaient plus élevés chez les femmes qui ne travaillaient pas, tandis que le taux d’accouchement prématuré augmentait considérablement chez les femmes ayant travaillé pendant toute la période de grossesse. En ajustant les taux pour tenir compte des facteurs de confusion, le risque d’accouchement prématuré n’était plus considérable (RC=1,2, IC de 95 % = 0,96-1,7). D’autre part, le fait de travailler avait un effet bénéfique sur les taux de PAG et de décès périnatal (RC=0,41, IC de 95 % = 0,26-0,64 et RC=0,26, IC de 95 % = 0,14-0,48, respectivement).

Conclusion

Ces résultats mettent en doute l’élément hasardeux du travail pendant la grossesse puisque le travail en soi ne constitue pas un facteur de risque pour la santé, mais peut même avoir un impact social positif sur la grossesse, ce qui suggère qu’il faudrait pousser les recherches sur ce sujet dans notre région.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mostafa A. Arafa
    • 1
  • Taher Amine
    • 2
  • Moataz Abdel Fattah
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, High Institute of Public HealthAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Occupational Health, High Institute of Public HealthAlexandria UniversityEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Medical Biostatistics, Medical Research InstituteEgypt

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