Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1988;14(5):293-298    pdf


Office employment, work with video display terminals, and course of pregnancy. Reference mothers' experience from a Finnish case-referent study of birth defects.

by Nurminen T, Kurppa K

In an examination of the possible harmful effects of work in an office environment and the use of a video display terminal (VDT) on the course of pregnancy, the experience of 1,475 reference mothers from a Finnish case-referent study of birth defects was analyzed. The study was based on the national Register of Congenital Malformations, whose data were supplemented with special interviews on mothers' work conditions. The group which worked in an office environment consisted of 239 women, of whom 60 had worked with video display terminals; 805 mothers had not worked in an office. Only mothers who had worked during most of their pregnancy and who had a singleton birth were included; hence 431 women were excluded from the analysis. The information on threatened abortion, length of gestation, birthweight, placental weight, and maternal blood pressure was analyzed. Office work involved no elevated risk of threatened abortion when compared with nonoffice work, and among the VDT users the proportion with symptoms related to an impending early termination of pregnancy was similar to that of other office workers. No unfavorable effects on the length of gestation were observed between the compared groups, and there were no differences in the birthweight of the babies when adjustment was made for gestational age or the other aspects under consideration. Thus the results did not suggest that office employment or work with video display terminals would be harmful for pregnancy.

The following articles refer to this text: 1989;15(2):156-158;