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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2013 Feb;22(2):188a-i. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2012.3975. Epub 2013 Jan 25.

Occupation as a risk factor for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

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1 College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Sam Houston State University , Huntsville, Texas.



Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) are leading causes of morbidity and mortality and have been rising in incidence. Little is known about the effects of worker classifications on HDP. This large-scale study examines associations between occupational classifications and HDP.


We examined 385,537 Texas Electronic Registrar Birth Registration 2005 birth certificates. Maternal occupations were coded using the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC). Crude and adjusted risks for HDP among working women within occupational groupings were analyzed and compared with risks of nonemployed women.


The risk of developing HDP varies across SOC occupational classifications. After controlling for known confounders, women employed in business, management, and the legal and social services, teaching, counseling, and healthcare professions are at higher risk for developing HDP than women employed in support industries, such as food preparation, housekeeping, cosmetic and personal care services, or nonemployed women. Women employed in computer, engineering, architectural, and scientific occupations also carry greater risks, although these increased risks do not affect women of normal weight.


Worker classification is an independent risk factor for HDP. Additional work must be done to examine the complex interactions among individual maternal genetics, biology, and physical and mental abilities and how they affect adverse health outcomes. Examining job stressors may shed light on these occupational variations and their potential HDP associations. Strategies to mitigate job stressors in the workplace should be considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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