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A study of occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs and fetal loss in nurses.
Selevan SG; Lindbohm L; Hornung RW; Hemminki K
N Engl J Med 1985 Nov; 313(19):1173-1178
A case/control study was conducted to determine a possible relationship between fetal loss and exposure to antineoplastic drugs among nurses employed in 17 Finnish hospitals between 1973 and 1980. The study was limited to 124 nurses for whom fetal losses occurred and detailed pregnancy data was available and their 321 matched comparisons. Exposures over the entire pregnancy period were not linked to fetal loss. However, a study of exposure to antineoplastic drugs during the first trimester was positively linked with fetal loss; women with first trimester exposure were more than twice as likely to experience fetal loss. Specific drugs were also identified as being positively associated with fetal loss, including cyclophosphamide (50180), doxorubicin (23214928), and vincristine (57227), but it was not possible to separate them as exposure to more than one of these drugs was high. Mean gestation was slightly shorter for fetal losses among exposed women as compared with fetal losses among unexposed women. The authors recommend that specific precautionary measures be developed for the handling of these toxic but extremely useful medical agents.
NIOSH-Author; Health-care-personnel; Chemotherapy; Antineoplastic-agents; Reproductive-system-disorders; Fetus; Transplacental-exposure; Short-term-exposure
50-18-0; 23214-92-8; 57-22-7
Issue of Publication
Fertility and Pregnancy Abnormalities; Disease and Injury; Reproductive-system-disorders
New England Journal of Medicine
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division