Methods: This nationwide population-based study was performed using the National Health Insurance Research Database from 1997 to 2008. We identified 3,656 pregnancies among 2,326 nurses and 111,889 pregnancies among 74,919 non-nurses. Generalized estimating equation was used to compare risks between the two groups.
Results: The rate of tocolysis (28.61% vs. 22.30%), abortion (6.21% vs. 5.37%), and preterm birth (8.07% vs. 5.66%) were significantly higher among nurses than non-nurses. After adjustment for background differences, nurses had significantly higher risk for cesarean section (adjusted OR=1.12, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03-1.22), tocolysis (OR=1.18, 95% CI 1.09-1.29), and preterm birth (OR=1.46, 95% CI 1.28-1.67). When labor/delivery morbidities were further adjusted for, risk for cesarean section became insignificant, while the risk for tocolysis and preterm birth remained.
Conclusion: Nurses are at higher risk for tocolysis, cesarean section, and preterm birth than non-nurses. Occupational exposures related to those adverse pregnancy outcomes should be examined. Strategies to decrease the risk should be developed in order to improve reproductive health among nurses.
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