Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
We have read the letter from Axmon et al. with great interest, and appreciate that they have analyzed their data in the same manner as us, even though they did not find any interaction between hairdressers and smoking habits regarding reproductive health.
Generally, the Norwegian population has higher proportion of smokers then the Swedish population, and in the two study populations, there is a great difference in smoking prevalence. In our study, there were 78% and 62% ever smokers among hairdressers and those with other occupations, respectively, whereas the Axmon study had a fraction of 30% of the hairdressers and 27% of the controls who smoked before pregnancy.
Our study population was women (40 to 49 years of age) who had generally finished their reproductive career. Therefore, we also had a higher prevalence of negative reproductive outcome than Axmon et al. How these two conditions have affected the results is difficult to know. However, these differences might be a part of the reason for the different relationships between smoking and reproductive health in the two studies. We hope that others can analyze their data or create new studies on this subject. If so, it will be an advantage if the women studied are above 40 years.
Valborg Baste, MSc
Occupational and Environmental Medicine UNIFOB Bergen, Norway
Bente E. Moen, PhD
Occupational and Environmental MedicineDepartment of Public Health and Primary Health Care University of Bergen Bergen, Norway