Can non-daytime shifts and physically demanding jobs decrease women’s fertility?

Indeed : heavy lifting, shift work could affect women’s fertility

Women who lift heavy loads at work may experience decreased fertility, and the effect appears stronger among overweight or obese women and older women, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Working non-daytime work schedules may also decrease fertility, the researchers found. 

2017 Study Abstract

Objectives
To explore whether work schedules and physically demanding work were associated with markers of ovarian reserve and response.

Methods
This analysis included women (n=473 and n=313 for ovarian reserve and ovarian response analysis, respectively) enrolled in a prospective cohort study of couples presenting to an academic fertility centre (2004–2015). Information on occupational factors was collected on a take-home questionnaire, and reproductive outcomes were abstracted from electronic medical records. Generalised linear models and generalised linear mixed models were used to evaluate the associations.

Occupational factors and markers of ovarian reserve and response among women at a fertility centre, BMJ, dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2016-103953, 6 February 2017.

Results
Women who reported lifting or moving heavy objects at work had 1.0 fewer total oocytes (p=0.08), 1.4 fewer mature oocytes (p=0.007) and 0.7 fewer antral follicles (p=0.06) compared with women who reported never lifting or moving heavy objects at work. The inverse association between heavy lifting and oocyte yield was stronger in women >37 years and with a Body Mass Index ≥25 kg/m2. Women who worked evening/night/rotating shifts had 2.3 (p<0.001) fewer mature oocytes, on average, compared with women who worked day-only shifts. None of the occupational exposures were associated with day 3 follicle-stimulating hormone or peak oestradiol levels.

Conclusions
Women working non-daytime shifts and those with physically demanding jobs had fewer mature oocytes retrieved after controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. Our results provide insight into possible mechanisms linking these occupational exposures with decreased fecundity.

Air pollution: the benefits of clean power far outweigh the costs

Analysis of Costs and Health Co-Benefits for a U.S. Power Plant Carbon Standard

Nearly all U.S. regions stand to gain economic benefits from power plant carbon standards that set moderately stringent emission targets and allow a high level of compliance flexibility.

Most U.S. counties could gain $1m in annual health benefits from a power plant carbon standard, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Press Release June 7, 2016.

Researchers reports large national net benefits of approximately $33 billion per year for the power plant carbon standard in the study, based on estimated costs of $17 billion per year and projected benefits of $29 billion for a subset of health co-benefits, and $21 billion for climate benefits.

Abstract

An Analysis of Costs and Health Co-Benefits for a U.S. Power Plant Carbon Standard, PLOS one, doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0156308, June 7, 2016.

Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants can have important “co-benefits” for public health by reducing emissions of air pollutants.

Here, we examine the costs and health co-benefits, in monetary terms, for a policy that resembles the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. We then examine the spatial distribution of the co-benefits and costs, and the implications of a range of cost assumptions in the implementation year of 2020.

Nationwide, the total health co-benefits were $29 billion 2010 USD (95% CI: $2.3 to $68 billion), and net co-benefits under our central cost case were $12 billion (95% CI: -$15 billion to $51 billion). Net co-benefits for this case in the implementation year were positive in 10 of the 14 regions studied. The results for our central case suggest that all but one region should experience positive net benefits within 5 years after implementation.

Increasing Number of Chemicals linked to NeuroDevelopmental Disorders in Children

Growing number of chemicals linked with brain disorders in kids

Growing number of chemicals linked with brain disorders in children
The official Twitter profile @Harvard_Law of Harvard Law School.

Toxic chemicals may be triggering the recent increases in neurodevelopmental disabilities among children—such as autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and dyslexia—according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The researchers say a new global prevention strategy to control the use of these substances is urgently needed. ”

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