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219 Work related stress and increased risk of low birth weight, pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia
  1. T Brand1,
  2. Milder2
  1. 1AMC/Coronel Institute, Amsterdam, Nederland
  2. 2National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, Nederland

Abstract

Purpose On request of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, the present study was set up to find studies regarding an association between work related stress and pregnancy complications, pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia and to evaluate the present level of evidence.

Methods PubMed was used to find studies published between 1990 and April 2012, using a search strategy taking into account pregnancy complications, pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia and work related stress or burnout. For assessment of the quality of the studies, a score was calculated adapted from Nieuwenhuijsen et al.[1].

Results 17 studies were found on preterm birth, low birth weight, spontaneous abortion, pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia. Using the studies of the highest quality, work related stress was significantly associated with a higher risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia and also a significant higher risk albeit to a slightly lesser extent, on a lowering of the birth weight of about 150 gram. The association of work related stress and preterm birth or spontaneous abortion was unequivocal.

Conclusions Clear evidence was found that work related stress during pregnancy is strongly associated with pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia and to a slightly lesser extent with a lowering of the birth weight of about 150 gram. These findings underscore the need for attention and reduction of work related stress during pregnancy in order to prevent the work related effects. Therefore, it was decided to develop an information brochure on work related stress and pregnancy that will be added to the communication toolkit ‘Kinderwens, zwangerschap en werk’ which can be found on the website http://toolkits.loketgezondleven.nl/

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