Risk of Adverse Births in Female Veterinarians

Women in veterinary occupations are routinely exposed to potential reproductive hazards, yet there is little research into their birth outcomes. Researchers in Washington State, USA, compared birth outcomes from 2,662 mothers in veterinary professions to those from 10,653 mothers in dental professions and 8,082 other employed mothers.  Data was collected from birth certificates, fetal death certificates and hospital discharge data.  The outcomes studied were premature birth (less than 37 weeks), small for gestational age (SGA), malformations and fetal death (death at 20 weeks’ gestation or more).  No statistically significant associations were found.  There was a slight trend for SGA births in mothers in all veterinary professions compared with mothers with dental professions, and in veterinarians compared to other employed mothers, but these findings were not statistically significant, and could therefore be due to chance. There was also a positive but non-significant association for malformations among mothers working in veterinary support roles.  Overall, this study provides little evidence that veterinary work is associated with adverse birth outcomes[i]


[i] Meisner, J., Vora, M. V., Fuller, M. S., Phipps, A. I. & Rabinowitz, P. M. Maternal veterinary occupation and adverse birth outcomes in Washington State, 1992–2014: a population-based retrospective cohort study. Occup Environ Med oemed-2017-104817 (2018). doi:10.1136/oemed-2017-104817 http://oem.bmj.com/content/early/2018/02/24/oemed-2017-104817?papetoc (Accessed 28 February 2018)