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The Use of Electric Bed Heaters and the Risk of Clinically Recognized Spontaneous Abortion

Geraldine M. Lee, Raymond R. Neutra, Lilia Hristova, Michael Yost and Robert A. Hiatt
Epidemiology
Vol. 11, No. 4 (Jul., 2000), pp. 406-415
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3703966
Page Count: 10
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The Use of Electric Bed Heaters and the Risk of Clinically Recognized Spontaneous Abortion
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Abstract

We conducted a prospective cohort study to evaluate the relation of spontaneous abortion and electric bed heater use during the first trimester of pregnancy. Compared with non-users, rates of spontaneous abortion were lower for women who used electric bed heaters. The adjusted odds ratio and 95% confidence interval (CI) for the two major devices used, electric blankets (N = 524) and waterbeds (N = 796), were, respectively, 0.8 (95% CI = 0.5-1.1) and 0.9 (95% CI = 0.7-1.2). An increase of risk with increasing intensity (setting-duration combination) of use was not observed. Users of electric blankets at low settings for most of the night (N = 171) had lower risks of spontaneous abortion than non-users (adjusted odds ratio = 0.5; 95% CI = 0.3-1.0). Twenty women who used electric blankets at a high setting for 1 hour or less had an adjusted odds ratio of 3.0 (95% CI = 1.1-8.3), but we found no spontaneous abortions among the few women (N = 13) who used a high setting for 2 or more hours. We found that exposure rankings of the magnetic field time-weighted average and a rate of change metric did not correspond monotonically to the pattern of spontaneous abortion risks and that electric blankets contribute less to overnight time-weighted average magnetic fields than has been thought.

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