Findings from a survey of 56,067 women in Montreal on maternal occupation and pregnancy outcome have been reported. Paternal occupation recorded in the same survey was analysed for spontaneous abortion in 24 occupational groups retaining the six main sectors of maternal occupation and allowing, by means of logistic regression, for seven potentially confounding variables. In only one of the 24 fathers' occupational groups was there a statistically significant excess of spontaneous abortions--mechanics, repairers, and certain assemblers (O/E = 1.10, 90% CI = 1.02-1.20); subdivision of this group suggested that this excess was mainly attributable to the large group of motor vehicle mechanics (O/E = 1.17). No significant excess of known chromosomally determined defects was found in any of the 24 occupational groups. An association of developmental defects was found with food and beverage processing (18 defects observed compared with 8.02 expected; p less than 0.05); however, there was no specificity in type of food, beverage, or congenital defect, and no obvious explanatory mechanism.
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