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Am J Ind Med. 2011 Feb;54(2):118-27. doi: 10.1002/ajim.20875.

Exposure to anesthetic gases and congenital anomalies in offspring of female registered nurses.

Author information

  • 1University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. kay.teschke@ubc.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Studies of offspring of mothers exposed to anesthetic gases have shown associations with congenital anomalies reported by the mothers, but rarely in studies with objectively ascertained outcomes. We conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine associations between registry-ascertained congenital anomalies in offspring and anesthetic gas exposure of mothers employed as nurses.

METHODS:

A cohort of registered nurses in British Columbia, Canada, was linked to records of births and congenital anomalies from 1990 to 2000. Exposures were assessed via a survey of anesthetic gas use in all hospitals in the province and records of nurses' jobs, departments, and hospitals.

RESULTS:

Departments most frequently reporting anesthetic gas use were operating rooms, post-anesthetic recovery rooms, and maternity units. In the cohort of 15,317 live-borne children of 9,433 mothers, 1,079 had congenital anomalies. Anomalies were associated with ever and probable maternal exposure to halogenated gases (ORs: 1.49, 95% CI: 1.04-2.13; and 2.61, 95% CI: 1.31-5.18, respectively) and to nitrous oxide (ORs: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.05-1.94; and 1.82, 95% CI: 1.11-2.99). Anomalies most frequently associated with exposure were those of the heart (OR, halogenated gases: 2.31, 95% CI: 1.07-4.97) and integument (OR, halogenated gases: 3.56, 95% CI: 1.53-8.32; OR, nitrous oxide: 3.02, 95% CI: 1.37-6.64). Gases most frequently associated with anomalies were halothane (predominantly used early in the study period), isoflurane, and sevoflurane (predominantly used later in the period).

CONCLUSIONS:

In this study, where both exposures and outcomes were assessed objectively, certain congenital anomalies were associated with estimated anesthetic gas exposure.

Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

PMID:
20607734
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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