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Am J Ind Med. 2000 Nov;38(5):555-64.

Petrochemical exposure and menstrual disturbances.

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  • 1Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.



An exploratory, cross-sectional retrospective study was conducted to examine the effects of benzene exposure on menstrual problems.


The study was based on a survey administered to over 3,000 women who worked in a large petrochemical company in Beijing, China. An abnormal menstrual cycle length (AMCL), defined as an average menstrual cycle length of greater than 35 days or less than 21 days, is the major outcome of interest.


After 7 years of benzene exposure, the adjusted odds ratio of having AMCL for each additional 5 years of exposure was 1.71 (95% CI 1.27-2.31). Feeling stressed at work was also an important predictor.


This study suggests a significant association of benzene exposure and perceived stress with menstrual disturbance. A prospective study is needed to confirm this finding.

Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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