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Risk of stillbirth from occupational and residential exposures.

Pastore LM; Hertz-Picciotto I; Beaumont JJ
Occup Environ Med 1997 Jul; 54(7):511-518
The risk of stillbirth from occupational and residential exposures was analyzed in a case control study. The cases consisted of 630 fetal and infant deaths identified from death certificates in ten agricultural counties in California; 642 controls were matched to the cases for county of maternal residence and maternal age. The mothers were administered a questionnaire concerning medical and reproductive history, occupational and residential exposures, and lifestyle. Of the 1,272 subjects, 332 cases and 357 controls completed the questionnaire. Odds ratios (ORs) and risk ratios (RRs) were calculated for each potential risk factor. While age, race, ethnicity, marital status, employment during pregnancy, and education did not differ between the cases and controls, cases had higher rates of previous fetal loss and higher parity than controls. The home application of pesticides during pregnancy was the most common exposure among both cases and controls, with rates of 29.2 and 28.3%, respectively. Living less than a quarter of a mile from commercial crops was reported by 23.5% of the cases and 21.8% of the controls. Occupational exposure to pesticides was significantly associated with stillbirths in the first and second trimesters due to all causes and due to complications of the placenta, cord, and membranes, with RRs of 1.3 to 1.4 and 1.6 to 1.7, respectively. During the first 2 months of gestation, stillbirths due to congenital abnormalities were significantly related to occupational and residential pesticide exposures, with ORs of 2.4 and 1.7, respectively. Occupational exposure to video display terminals exhibited an inverse relationship with stillbirths, with a RR of 0.7. The authors conclude that occupational exposure to pesticides during gestation is associated with the risk of stillbirth. The application of time specific exposure windows to analysis is a useful research tool.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Cooperative-Agreement; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Prenatal-exposure; Occupational-exposure; Environmental-exposure; Agricultural-chemicals; Risk-factors; Reproductive-effects; Video-display-terminals; Congenital-effects
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Issue of Publication
Source Name
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Performing Organization
University of California - Davis
Page last reviewed: October 26, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division