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Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi. 2007 Dec;28(12):1215-8.

[Reproductive effects of occupational exposure to mercury on female workers in China: a meta-analysis].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Occupational Health and Environmental Science, School of Public Health of Ningxia Medical College, Yinchuan 750004, China.



To analyze and evaluate the reproductive effects of occupational exposure to mercury among female workers and to identify relative sensitive indicators.


Documents on the relations of occupational exposure to mercury and reproductive effects on female workers were collected through computer and manually that were published in Chinese language during 1989-2006. After strict selection, homogeneity test and integrated analysis for the abstracted data of the eligible studies were conducted using Review Manager Statistic Software. Combined RR value was used as the index for total effect on each project for Meta-analysis.


In total, 14 original research papers were included (totally 2148 subjects and 2044 controls). When comparing to the controls, the occupational exposure to mercury was significantly associated with longer menstrual period (RR = 1.82, 95% CI: 1.45-2.30), menstrual cycle delay (RR = 2.03, 95% CI: 1.74-2.37) and the changes of menstrual blood volume (RR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.47-2.09), dysmenorrhea (RR = 2.14, 95% CI: 1.54-2.99), pregnancy-induced hypertension (RR = 2.17, 95% CI: 1.32-3.57), stillbirths (RR = 2.54, 95% CI: 1.41-4.56) and low birth weight (RR = 3.39, 95% CI: 1.38-8.33)/birth defect (RR = 2.67, 95% CI: 1.55-4.60) of their offspring (P < 0.05).


Occupational exposure to mercury could cause dysfunction of the menstrual period, menstrual cycle, menstrual blood volume, as well as dysmenorrhea for female workers being exposed to mercury and inducing adverse reproductive outcomes, including pregnancy-induced hypertension, stillbirth, low birth weight and birth defects of their offspring.

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