Pregnancy outcomes in female hairdressers
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The hairdressing occupation may entail exposure to a wide range of chemical products, psychosocial and physical stress. All these factors may affect the health of a pregnant hairdresser and her offspring. Our aim was to analyse whether employment in this profession is associated with adverse reproductive effects.
Female hairdressers working in the 248 hairdressing salons in Alicante (Spain), who became pregnant for the first time after 1990 were included (n = 94). The incidence of spontaneous abortions, number of children born and their birth weight and preterm delivery among hairdressers was compared with a control group of shop assistants and office workers (n = 138). Information was collected through personal interviews at their work place. A structured questionnaire was used gathering information concerning exposure variables including the use of chemical products, ventilation at the salons, work-related stress and hours of standing work. In addition, socio-demographic factors and smoking information were obtained. Crude and adjusted relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated using logbinomial regression.
Hairdressers showed a non-significant increased risk of spontaneous abortions (RR = 1.6, 95%CI 0.9–2.7). There were no differences in preterm delivery and birth weight of the children born of mothers in the two groups. Among hairdressers, the RR of spontaneous abortion among those with high perceived work-related stress was 2.4 (95%CI: 0.2–28.3) relative to those with low or normal perceived stress.
A slightly increased risk of spontaneous abortion among hairdressers was found, mainly associated with perceived work-related stress. Observed results deserve further research.
KeywordsHairdresser Reproduction Spontaneous abortion Work stress
This research was funded by the Institute for Women (Instituto de la Mujer), project reference number: IM106/04, and the Regional Valencian Government Department for University and Science (Conselleria de Empresa, Universidad y Ciencia de la Generalitat Valenciana), project reference number: ACOMP06/104.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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