An analysis of information on over 1.8 million working and non-working pregnant women in South Korea between 2010 and 2019 found that certain occupations were associated with higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.
For research published in journal of industrial hygieneThe researchers identified three adverse outcomes: early miscarriage outcomes (miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy), stillbirth, and no birth (pregnancies with no subsequent birth documented; including early miscarriage outcomes and stillbirth). We calculated the risk of outcome.
Overall, 18.0%, 0.7%, and 39.8% of pregnancies ended with early miscarriage, stillbirth, and no live birth, respectively. The risk of early miscarriage and stillbirth was higher in non-employed women than in employed women, but the frequency of childbirth was higher among employed women.
Women in the health and social work industry were most at risk of not having children. A high risk of not having a baby was also observed in manufacturing, wholesale/retail trade, education, and public/social/private service occupations. Manufacturing and medical/social work were associated with a higher risk of early miscarriage compared with finance and insurance jobs.
“The good news is that South Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor is now amending the Workers Compensation Insurance Act to cover all abortion outcomes for pregnant female workers. We contributed to the revision of this law because we presented the impact of occupational environment on pregnancy outcomes,” said lead author Jung-won Yoon, MD of the National Medical Center in Seoul.
Reference: “Risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes by Mother’s Occupational Status: A National Population-Based Study in South Korea,” January 25, 2023, journal of industrial hygiene.