Am J Perinatol 2009; 26(9): 625-631
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1220787
© Thieme Medical Publishers

The Risk of Congenital Malformations and Other Neonatal and Maternal Health Outcomes among Licensed Cosmetologists

Michele L. Herdt-Losavio1 , Shao Lin1 , Charlotte M. Druschel1 , Syni-An Hwang1 , Matthew P. Mauer1 , G. Anders Carlson1
  • 1New York State Department of Health, Center for Environmental Health, Troy, New York
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
23 April 2009 (online)


This study sought to determine if cosmetologists in New York State (NYS) have a higher risk of complications of labor/delivery or congenital malformations and poor neonatal health indicators among their offspring compared with Realtors and the general population. This retrospective cohort study matched licensing records for cosmetologists and realtors to birth records and the NYS Congenital Malformations Registry from 1997 to 2003. A random sample of NYS birth certificates, frequency matched to cosmetologists on year of child's birth, mother's ethnicity, and education, was also formed. Outcomes include malformations of each major organ system, neonatal health indicators, and complications of labor/delivery. Multivariate logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), controlling for potential confounders. Compared with Realtors, cosmetologists had an increased risk of several maternal and neonatal health indicators, including postpartum hemorrhage (OR = 2.12; 95% CI 1.26, 3.58), failure to progress (OR = 1.31; 95% CI 1.12, 1.54), and newborn intubation (OR = 2.34; 95% CI 1.21, 4.51), among others. We did not observe an increased risk of congenital malformations among cosmetologists' offspring. Working as a cosmetologist was positively associated with several adverse maternal perinatal and neonatal health indicators but was not associated with congenital malformations in this study. These results are useful for hypothesis generating.


Michele L Herdt-LosavioPh.D. M.P.H. 

Research Scientist 3, New York State Department of Health, Center for Environmental Health

547 River Street, Room 200, Troy, NY 12180