Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1998;24(2):98-103    pdf


Ectopic pregnancy and occupational exposure of hospital personnel

by Bouyer J, Saurel-Cubizolles M-J, Grenier C, Aussel L, Job-Spira N

Objectives An earlier study found a relationship between occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs and ectopic pregnancy. The present investigation aimed at confirming this finding in a larger and specifically planned study and at analyzing the relationship between ectopic pregnancy and other chemical or physical agents in the hospital work environment.

Methods A case-referent study (140 cases and 279 referents) was carried out in 1995 in a population of women working in hospitals throughout France. The sample size was computed to have an 80% statistical power to detect a 2-fold increased risk of ectopic pregnancy (odds ratio 2). Information was collected about past and present work conditions (exposures to antineoplastic drugs, solvents, disinfectants, anesthetic gases and ionizing radiation), and know risk factors of ectopic pregnancy. Multivariate analysis was performed using logistic regression.

Results No significant association between occupational exposure and ectopic pregnancy was found, either when past exposure was considered or when exposure was considered within the 3 months before conception. The relationships remained nonsignificant after adjustment for job category and for the known risk factors of ectopic pregnancy.

Conclusion It was concluded that the results of this study should be interpreted as an absence of relationship between exposure to chemical or physical agents and ectopic pregnancy.