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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


RONDA, Elena; HERNANDEZ-MORA, Amparo; GARCIA, Ana María  and  REGIDOR, Enrique. Maternal occupation, pregnancy length and low birth weight. Gac Sanit [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.3, pp.179-185. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To assess the association between maternal occupation during pregnancy with the presence of low birth weight and preterm delivery. Method: The sample consisted of 1,341,686 preterm infants and 1,217,897 low birth weight infants in Spain (1996-2000) with valid information on maternal occupation from the National Registry of Births. Maternal occupation was the main exposure variable coded according to groups of occupation (CNO-79) and outcomes were low birth weight (<2500g) and preterm birth (<37 weeks). Crude and adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated through the maximum verisimilitude method. Results: The highest prevalence of preterm infants was found in mothers working in agriculture (10.8%) and the lowest in professional women (6.6%). The highest prevalence of low birth weight was observed in the women working in the services sector (3.5%) and manual workers in industry and construction (3.4%) while the lowest prevalence was found in professional women (2.5%). Women working in agriculture had a higher risk of preterm birth than professional women (aOR=1.68; 95%CI: 1.57-1.80). The risk of low birth weight was higher in women working in the service sector (aOR=1.36; 95%CI: 1.30-1.42), housewives (aOR=1.30; 95%CI: 1.28-1.38), agricultural laborers (aOR=1.29; 95%CI: 1.14-1.44) and manual workers in industry and construction (aOR=1.29; 95%CI: 1.21-1.36). Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that belonging to certain occupational groups during pregnancy could affect the risk of low birth weight and preterm birth.

Keywords : Occupational groups; Working woman; Low birth weight; Preterm birth.

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