Epidemiologic methods for prospective assessment of menstrual cycle and reproductive characteristics in female semiconductor workers.
Gold-EB; Eskenazi-B; Lasley-BL; Samuels-SJ; Rasor-MO; Overstreet-JW; Schenker-MB
Am J Ind Med 1995 Dec; 28(6):783-797
The methods used in a large scale study of reproductive health in female semiconductor workers for assessment of menstrual cycle and reproductive characteristics were described. The study population included women working in fabrication work in the semiconductor industry, and was part of a study determining the effects of such work on reproductive outcome. Women were selected for the study at each of the seven participating facilities. A total of 2,639 out of 3,480 women completed a screening questionnaire to identify women at risk of pregnancy. Of the 739 eligible women thus identified, 481 completed baseline interviews and 402 completed at least one menstrual cycle of follow up by providing daily diaries and daily urine samples. The questionnaires and diaries were used to assess menstrual cycle characteristics. Reproductive hormones were analyzed in the urine samples. The usual cycle length recalled at baseline was 28 days; the mean cycle length recorded in diaries was 29 days with greater dispersion than at baseline. The authors conclude that self reporting of irregular cycles provides useful information when prospective studies are not practical or feasible. This prospective study was among the first to attempt intensive follow up with daily diaries and urine collection in such a large and nonclinical based population of women who were not necessarily trying to become pregnant. Good participation was achieved from the workers in what was conceived to be a relatively demanding study.
Reproductive-system-disorders; Reproductive-hazards; Semiconductors; Epidemiology; Analytical-methods; Urinalysis; Humans;
Author Keywords: menstrual cycle; reproduction; epidemiology; semiconductor manufacturing; occupational exposure
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
University of California - Davis