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Spontaneous Abortions Among Finnish Flight Attendants

Aspholm, Rafael MD; Lindbohm, Marja-Liisa DrPH; Paakkulainen, Harri MSc; Taskinen, Helena MD, PhD; Nurminen, Tuula DrPH; Tiitinen, Aila MD, PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: June 1999 - Volume 41 - Issue 6 - p 486-491
Original Articles

We conducted a retrospective cohort study to investigate whether work as a cabin attendant is related to an increased risk for spontaneous abortion. Data on female cabin crew members were linked to medical records on pregnancies. There were 1751 eligible pregnancies for the final analysis. Flight attendants who worked during early pregnancy had a slightly elevated risk of spontaneous abortion, as compared with attendants who were pregnant outside a time span of active flying (odds ratio [OR] = 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.9 to 1.8). During the earliest years of the study period (1973 through 1977), the risk seemed to be decreased (OR = 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2 to 1.1), whereas during the later years (1978 through 1994) the risk was increased (OR = 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1 to 2.4). The results are in agreement with earlier studies, showing suggestive evidence of a slightly increased risk of spontaneous abortion among female cabin crew members.

From the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Dr Aspholm, Dr Lindbohm, Mr Paakkulainen, Dr Nurminen) and the Department of Occupational Medicine (Dr Taskinen), the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland; and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland (Dr Tiitinen).

Address correspondence to: Marja-Liisa Lindbohm, DrPH, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, SF-00250 Helsinki, Finland.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.