Does working the night shift cause adverse pregnancy outcomes?

  • Specht IO & al.
  • PLoS One
  • 1 Jan 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Night-shift work during pregnancy in a Danish cohort was not associated with an increased risk for preterm birth.

Why this matters

  • Research on the effects of night-shift work on pregnancy is mixed.
  • It has been suggested that working at night causes changes in the circadian rhythm because of exposure to light.
  • It is difficult to counsel women.

Key results

  • Night-shift work was not associated with increased risk for preterm birth:
  • ≥13 shifts of night work in the first trimester: aOR, 0.84 (95% CI, 0.64-1.08);
  • ≥11 night shifts in the second trimester: aOR, 1.01 (95% CI, 0.73-1.37).

Study design

  • Cohort obtained from the Danish Working Hour Database, a national database created from administrative payroll data of women working in administration and public hospitals, between 2007 and 2013.
  • Data on exposure to night work were retrieved from the database.
  • Pregnant women with at least 1 night shift during the first 22 weeks of gestation (n=10,202) compared with those without night shifts (n=6299).
  • Funding: Danish Working Environment Research Fund.

Limitations

  • Danish population; results may not be generalizable.

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