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Effects of Exposure to Organic Solvents on Menstrual Cycle Length

Cho, Sung-Il MD,ScD; Damokosh, Andrew I. PhD; Ryan, Louise M. PhD; Chen, Dafang MD; Hu, Ye A. ScD; Smith, Thomas J. PhD; Christiani, David C. MD,MPH; Xu, Xiping MD,PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: June 2001 - Volume 43 - Issue 6 - p 567-575
Original Articles
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Toinvestigate the association between organic solvent exposure and menstrualdisturbance, we conducted a cross-sectional study among 1408 petrochemicalworkers in China. Based on an industrial hygiene evaluation, we classified theworkshops according to the presence or absence of organic solvents (benzene,styrene, toluene, or xylene). We used logistic regression to estimate oddsratios and 95% confidence intervals for prolonged menstrual cycle length(oligomenorrhea: average cycle length >35 days during the previous year)associated with the exposure. After adjustment for confounders, eachadditional year of work in an exposed workshop was associated with a 7%increase in oligomenorrhea (odds ratio, 1.07; 95% confidence interval, 1.00 to1.14). Compared with no exposure, 3 or more years of exposure was associatedwith a 53% increase in oligomenorrhea (odds ratio, 1.53; 95% confidenceinterval, 1.00 to 2.34). We concluded that exposure to organic solvents isassociated with a trend toward increased frequency ofoligomenorrhea.

From theDepartment of Environmental Health (Dr Cho, Dr Damokosh, Dr Chen, Dr Smith, DrChristiani) and the Department of Biostatistics (Dr Ryan), Harvard School ofPublic Health; Beijing Medical University (Dr Chen); and the Research TriangleInstitute (DrHu).

Addresscorrespondence to: Dr Xiping Xu, Associate Professor and Director, Program forPopulation Genetics, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School ofPublic Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, FXB-101, Boston, MA 02115-6096; e-mail:xu@hsph.harvard.edu.

Copyright© by American College of Occupational and EnvironmentalMedicine

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.