Introduction Many female workers start their jobs at mid-twenties or early-thirties, which overlap in time with marriage, pregnancy and delivery. There is ongoing trend that low birth rate, increasing rate of hard-to-gestations and infertility problems among eight million female workers in Korea. Moreover, various repro-toxic agents, including suspicious or unknown agents, are affecting workers’ reproductive health. Our study aims to investigate epidemiological traits of reproductive problems related with occupations, and accommodate preventive management plan for high risk industries.
Method We obtained claim data of National Health Insurance and analysed to obtain the odd ratio (OR) for abortion and other obstetrical complications. We compared each industry group to non-working female and public administrative workers as a reference group.
Results The OR for abortion (spontaneous and missed abortion) of all working female is 1.25 (95% CI: 1.23–1.28), which is statistically higher compared to non-working female, i.e., female dependents of the employment-based NHI program. Industry groups showed higher OR for abortion and have over 1,000 cases of abortion were business support services (1.45, 95% CI: 1.35–1.56), manufacture of electronic components, computer, radio, television and communication equipment and apparatuses (1.40, 95% CI: 1.33–1.48), human health (1.36, 95% CI: 1.31–1.41), other manufacturing (1.33, 95% CI: 1.24–1.42), and etc. The OR of all female workers compared to non-working female for habitual abortion, threatened abortion, SGA and placenta abruption were 1.28 (95% CI: 1.21–1.36), 1.40 (95% CI: 1.38–1.43), 1.19 (95% CI: 1.13–1.26) and 1.28 (95% CI: 1.15–1.42), respectively.
Conclusion We investigated the epidemiological traits of Korean female workers’ reproductive health problems and provided data indicating female workers in several industry groups have higher OR for several reproductive health problems. Finally, we suggested that working status itself might be considered as a risk factor for reproductive health problems, such as abortion, habitual abortion, threatened abortion, SGA and placenta abruption.
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