Work as a physician and adverse pregnancy outcomes: a Finnish nationwide population-based registry study

Eur J Epidemiol. 2009;24(9):531-6. doi: 10.1007/s10654-009-9369-0. Epub 2009 Aug 11.


Work as a physician may be related to several occupational hazards. Only few studies have investigated the relations between work as a physician and the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and the results have been inconsistent. We conducted a nationwide population-based study in Finland to assess whether work as a physician during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. We identified from the 1990 to 2006 Finnish Medical Birth Register data all singleton newborns of physicians (N = 7,642) and other upper white collar workers (N = 124,606; as the reference group) from a source population of 946,392 singleton newborns. In generalized estimating equations, work as a physician was not related to low birth weight (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI 0.86-1.15), preterm delivery (1.00, 0.89-1.12), small-for-gestational age (1.04, 0.86-1.22), large-for-gestational age (1.00, 0.86-1.13), perinatal death (0.88, 0.49-1.27), and the female gender of the newborn (0.98, 0.94-1.03). The risk of high birth weight (4,000 g or more; 0.88, 0.84-0.93) and postterm delivery were lower (0.77, 0.65-0.89) among physicians than the reference group. The results indicate that Finnish female physicians have a similar risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes as women of similar socio-economic background.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians, Women / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Women, Working*