Occupational hazards and the onset of natural menopause


Objective: To identify occupational hazards associated with earlier onset of natural menopause.

Study design: A national cross-sectional study was conducted to explore the reproductive health of Chinese female workers. The final sample size was 17,948.

Main outcome measures: Participants completed a self-report instrument that recorded working conditions, chemical and physical agents in the occupational environment, socioeconomic factors, lifestyle, reproductive history, and occupational information. A Cox regression model was used to examine the association between each occupational hazard and onset of menopause.

Results: Abnormal workload (19.31 %), aromatic compounds (7.95 %), and noise (24.94 %) were the three most frequently self-reported occupational hazards in the three categories of working conditions, chemical agents, and physical agents, respectively. Abnormal workload (HR = 1.133, p = 0.038), noise (HR = 1.233, p < 0.001), and heat stress (HR = 1.178, p = 0.041) were associated with earlier age at natural menopause in the analyses of each hazard, after adjustment. Only noise (HR = 1.187, p = 0.003) remained statistically significant after including all possible occupational hazards.

Conclusions: In a national survey of 17,948 female workers, this study investigated the association of age at natural menopause with multiple occupational hazards, some of which have not been addressed. Occupational noise was identified as a risk factor for reproductive senescence for the first time. However, further research is needed to confirm our findings.

Authors: Linjuan Ma, Tongyun Qi, Yue Zhang, Yizhou Huang, Saisai Li, Qian Ying, Zhaoqiang Jiang, Chunming Li, Peiqiong Chen, Wenxian Xu, Yibing Lan, Ketan Chu, Jianlin Lou, Wenlan Yu, Jianhong Zhou
; Full Source: Maturitas 2022 Sep 5;167:46-52. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2022.08.012.