Maternal working conditions and inequalities in birth outcome, Sweden.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Work environment (Influence)
Social classes (Influence)
Birth weight, Low (Risk factors)
Pub Date: 11/01/2008
Publication: Name: Reproductive Health Matters Publisher: Reproductive Health Matters Audience: General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Family and marriage; Health; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 Reproductive Health Matters ISSN: 0968-8080
Issue: Date: Nov, 2008 Source Volume: 16 Source Issue: 32
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Sweden Geographic Code: 4EUSW Sweden
Accession Number: 192393441
Full Text: This study aimed to examine the association between maternal working conditions and birth outcomes, and to determine how much social class contributed to inequalities for six birth outcomes. Information on working conditions and data from the national Swedish Registry were studied for approximately 280,000 mothers and 360,000 births during 1980-1985. Low levels of job control, high levels of physical demands and job hazards were more common in manual compared to non-manual classes. The self-employed had intermediate levels of exposure. Poor working conditions, particularly low levels of job control, were significantly associated with higher risks of low birthweight, very low birthweight, small for gestational age, all preterm, very preterm and extremely preterm births, but not with mortality. Compared to middle non-manuals (the reference group), lower non-manual and manual classes had higher risks for all birth outcomes, and these risks were nearly all significant. In conclusion, class differences in maternal working conditions clearly contributed to class differences in low birthweight (explained fraction 14-38%), all preterm births (20-46%), very (14-46%) and extremely (12-100%) preterm births. For all birth outcomes, class differences could still be detected after working conditions were taken into consideration. (1)

1. Gisselmann MD, Hemstrom O. The contribution of maternal working conditions to socio-economic inequalities in birth outcome. Social Science and Medicine 2008;66(6):1297-309 [abstract].
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