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Birth weight and gestational age among children of Danish pharmacy assistants.
  1. I Schaumburg,
  2. J Olsen
  1. Department of Social Medicine, University of Odense, Denmark.


    STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to investigate whether specific types of work or exposures among pharmacy assistants were correlated with changes in birth weight or gestational age. DESIGN--The study was a nationwide historical cohort with open entry of all female members of the union of pharmacy assistants during 1979 to 1984. PARTICIPANTS--The cohort comprised 4939 pharmacy assistants under 40 years of age. The questionnaire was answered by 93%. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS--Information on birth weight and gestational age was obtained by linkage to the national birth register. Exposure information on type of work and exposure to pharmaceutical and chemical products during pregnancy was self reported. Only small and non-significant differences in birth weight and gestational age were found between the compared groups. Mean birth weight was 50 g above the national mean and gestational age was longer (p less than 0.0005). CONCLUSIONS--Compared to the Danish population, children of pharmacy assistants are at low risk for experiencing low birth weight and preterm birth. Social status and less smoking during pregnancy among pharmacy assistants might explain the slightly greater mean birthweight and gestational age in this sector of the population.

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