Premature ovarian failure among hairdressers

L. Gallicchio, S. Miller, T. Greene, H. Zacur, J. A. Flaws

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


BACKGROUNDHairdressers constitute a major occupational group of female workers who are exposed to chemicals that cause reproductive abnormalities in animal models. The purpose of this study was to examine whether hairdressers are at increased risk of premature ovarian failure (POF) compared with women of similar age in other occupations.METHODSThis study analyzed data from a population-based sample of 443 hairdressers and 508 women in other occupations, who responded to a mailed survey. POF was assessed in all eligible participants by self-report of a doctor's diagnosis.RESULTSAmong 443 hairdressers and 508 women in other occupations, 14 (3.2) and 7 (1.4) developed POF, respectively. A non-significant increase in the risk of POF was observed among hairdressers compared with non-hairdressers (adjusted relative risk (RR) 1.90; 95 confidence interval (CI) 0.76, 4.72). When limited to Caucasian women only (∼85 of respondents), the increased risk was statistically significant (RR 3.24; 95 CI 1.06, 9.91). Among Caucasian women of 40-55 years of age, hairdressers were more than five times as likely to report POF compared with non-hairdressers (RR 5.58; 95 CI 1.24, 25.22).CONCLUSIONSHairdressers may be at increased risk for POF compared with women employed in other occupations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2636-2641
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Chemical exposure
  • Cosmetologists
  • Hairdressers
  • Premature ovarian failure
  • Reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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