The purpose of this study was to examine adverse health outcomes, including those related to cardiovascular and skin health as well as respiratory functions, among cosmetologists aged 21 to 55 yr and to compare data to women of the same age working in other occupations. Self-reported data were analyzed from 450 cosmetologists and 511 women in other occupations who participated in the Reproductive Outcomes of Salon Employees (ROSE) study in Maryland. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were computed using logistic regression to examine the associations between cosmetologist occupation and each adverse health outcome adjusted for age, education, and smoking status. Cosmetologists were at significantly increased risk of depression compared to noncosmetologists after adjustment for age, education, and smoking status (OR 1.49; 95% CI 1.10, 2.00). There were no statistically significant associations between cosmetology occupation and the other adverse health outcomes, including those related to allergies and skin disorders, in both the unadjusted and adjusted analyses. Cosmetologists may be exposed to chemicals in the salon that lead to depression. Future study needs to be conducted to examine specific chemical exposures in the salon. This will help to provide information required for the development of best occupational safety practices among salon workers.
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