Most pregnant women are exposed to some physical activity at work. This Concise Guidance is aimed at doctors advising healthy women with uncomplicated singleton pregnancies about the risks arising from five common workplace exposures (prolonged working hours, shift work, lifting, standing and heavy physical workload). The adverse outcomes considered are: miscarriage, preterm delivery, small for gestational age, low birth weight, pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension. Systematic review of the literature indicates that these exposures are unlikely to carry much of an increased risk for any of the outcomes, since small apparent effects might be explicable in terms of chance, bias, or confounding, while larger and better studies yield lower estimated risks compared with smaller and weaker studies. In general, patients can be reassured that such work is associated with little, if any, adverse effect on pregnancy. Moreover, moderate physical exercise is thought to be healthy in pregnancy and most pregnant women undertake some physical work at home. The guidelines provide risk estimates and advice on counselling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the incidence of spontaneous abortion in a population of women in order to establish their risk of spontaneous abortion and the obstetric factors predisposing to it.
Prospective study of women recruited by radio and poster appeal and from hospital outpatient clinics.
English provincial community.
630 Women from the general population intending to become pregnant.
The viability of the pregnancy was assessed by abdominal ultrasonography before completion of the eighth week, and the assessment was repeated if vaginal bleeding occurred.
Spontaneous abortion or live births in women with or without a previous history of spontaneous abortion.
The overall incidence of clinically recognisable spontaneous abortion before 20 weeks of gestation was 12% (50/407 pregnancies). The risk of spontaneous abortion in each category of patient was classified with respect to the patient's past reproductive performance and found to be influenced greatly by her previous obstetric history. In primigravidas and women with a history of consistently successful pregnancies the incidences of abortion were low (5% (4/87) and 4% (3/73) respectively), whereas women with only unsuccessful histories had a much greater risk of aborting the study pregnancy (24% (24/98)), even when their sole pregnancy had ended in abortion (20% (12/59)). The outcome of the last pregnancy also influenced the outcome of the study pregnancy; only 5% of women (5/95) whose previous pregnancy had been successful aborted, whereas the incidence of loss of pregnancy among women whose last pregnancy had aborted was 19% (40/214).
A knowledge of the patient's reproductive history is essential for the clinical assessment of her risk of spontaneous abortion. As the most important predictive factor for spontaneous abortion is a previous abortion, the outcome of a woman's first pregnancy has profound consequences for all subsequent pregnancies.
BMJ Clinical Research 09/1989; 299(6698):541-5. DOI:10.1136/bmj.299.6698.541 · 14.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the association between working conditions and adverse pregnancy outcomes by performing a meta-analysis of published studies.
We searched the English-language literature in MEDLINE through August 1999 using the terms standing, posture, work, workload, working conditions, shift, occupational exposure, occupational diseases, lifting, pregnancy complications, pregnancy, small for gestational age (SGA), fetal growth retardation (FGR), preterm, and labor.
We included observational studies evaluating the effect of one or more of the following work-related exposures on adverse pregnancy outcome: physically demanding work, prolonged standing, long work hours, shift work, and cumulative work fatigue score. Outcomes of interest were preterm birth, hypertension or preeclampsia, and SGA.We conducted a meta-analysis based on 160,988 women in 29 studies to evaluate the association of physically demanding work, prolonged standing, long working hours, shift work, and cumulative work fatigue score with preterm birth. Also analyzed were the associations of physically demanding work with hypertension or preeclampsia and SGA infants. The data were analyzed using the Peto-modified Mantel-Haenszel method to estimate the pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Physically demanding work was significantly associated with preterm birth (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.16, 1. 29), SGA (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.30, 1.44), and hypertension or preeclampsia (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.30, 1.96). Other occupational exposures significantly associated with preterm birth included prolonged standing (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.13, 1.40), shift and night work (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.06, 1.46), and high cumulative work fatigue score (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.33, 1.98). We found no significant association between long work hours and preterm birth (OR 1.03, 95% CI 0.92, 1.16).
Physically demanding work may significantly increase a woman's risk of adverse pregnancy outcome.
Obstetrics and Gynecology 05/2000; 95(4):623-35. DOI:10.1016/S0029-7844(99)00598-0 · 5.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine social inequalities and trends in low birth weight in England and Wales.
Analysis of routine birth data, comparing (a) couple and sole registered births, and (b) manual and non-manual occupational groups.
England and Wales, 1993-2000.
Social inequalities in low birth weight were evident throughout 1993-2000: relative to the non-manual group, there is an increased risk for the manual group (range in RR 1.22-1.35) and sole registrations (RR 1.51-1.67). An estimated 6.5% (2979 births) of low birth weight in 2000 could have been avoided if risks associated with the manual group were absent, and 2.8% (1290 births) avoided if risks associated with sole registration were absent. Between 1993 and 2000, the low birthweight rate increased significantly with an estimated overall increase of 11%. Increases were evident in all social groups (15% in manual, 11% in sole registrations and 9% in non-manual); however relative to non-manual the increase in RRs were not statistically significant for manual or sole registrations. When multiple births are excluded, the rate of low birth weight is reduced but there is still a significant increase over time and social differentials are undiminished.
There are social inequalities in low birth weight in England and Wales that have not narrowed over an eight year period, 1993-2000. These inequalities are likely to affect childhood and adult health inequalities in the future, hence strategies will need to address differences in low birth weight and further monitoring of trends is therefore desirable.
Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 10/2003; 57(9):687-91. · 3.50 Impact Factor
Naoko Kozuki, Joanne Katz, Anne Cc Lee, Joshua P Vogel, Mariangela F Silveira, Ayesha Sania, Gretchen A Stevens, Simon Cousens, Laura E Caulfield, Parul Christian, [...], Patrick Kolsteren, Mario Merialdi, Aroonsri Mongkolchati, Naomi Saville, Cesar G Victora, Zulfiqar A Bhutta, Hannah Blencowe, Majid Ezzati, Joy E Lawn, Robert E Black
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