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Job demands put pregnant flight attendants at risk of miscarriage: study

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Atlanta – Exposure to cosmic radiation, working during regular sleep time and high physical demands can increase pregnant flight attendants’ risk of miscarriage, according to recent research from NIOSH.

Researchers examined records of 2 million flights involving nearly 700 female flight attendants. Flight attendants who flew more than 15 hours during normal sleep times during the first trimester of pregnancy were at higher risk of miscarriage, according to the study.

The research also suggests that exposure to at least 0.1 mGy of radiation – which could occur if the plane flies through a solar particle event – is associated with greater risk of miscarriage.

Researchers also found that early miscarriage was about 2 times as likely for a pregnant flight attendant who had high physical job demands, such as standing and walking for more than eight hours and bending at the waist more than 25 times per day.

The study was published online Jan. 5 in Epidemiology.