Paternal occupational exposure around conception and spina bifida in offspring

Am J Ind Med. 1997 Sep;32(3):283-91. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0274(199709)32:3<283::aid-ajim15>;2-r.


A multi-center case-referent study was conducted on the relation between paternal occupational exposure and spina bifida in offspring. Cases were born between 1980 and 1992 in The Netherlands. Referents were recruited from hospitals and from the general population. Postal questionnaires were used to gather information on occupation and potential confounders. Through job-specific telephone interviews with 122 case fathers and 411 referent fathers, detailed exposure information was collected on specific tasks, the use of chemical or physical agents, frequency of exposure, and use of protective equipment. The study yielded statistically significant associations between spina bifida and low exposure to welding fumes (OR = 1.6, 95% CI: 1.0-2.6) and low exposure to UV radiation during welding (OR = 2.6, 95% CI: 1.2-5.6), and suggestive findings of an association between spina bifida and moderate or high exposure to cleaning agents, moderate or high pesticide exposure (OR = 1.7, 95% CI: 0.7-4.0), and stainless steel dust (OR = 2.0, 95% CI: 0.8-5.2). No associations were identified for other paternal occupational exposures, such as organic solvents.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Fathers*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Occupations*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Paternal Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Spina Bifida Cystica / epidemiology*
  • Spina Bifida Cystica / etiology