OBJECTIVES: A population-based birth registry has been set up for the Arctic town of Moncegorsk in north-western Russia. This investigation describes the health status of the delivering population, including pregnancy history and the prevalence of obesity, infections, smoking and alcohol abuse during the pregnancy period. An overview of the occupations of the delivering population is also presented. METHODS: The birth registry contains detailed and verified information about the newborn, delivery, pregnancy and the mother for 21,214 births by women from Moncegorsk in the period 1973-97. RESULTS: Of the delivering women, 15.7% had experienced one or more spontaneous abortions, and 47.4% had at least one induced abortion. More than 9% had suffered pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in their past. The local nickel company employed 9016 (42.5%) of the delivering women; of these 17% worked in production areas with exposures to compounds of nickel, among other hazards, and 38% are judged to have had possible, or probable, exposure of this type. CONCLUSION: Compared with the delivering population in Norway, that in Moncegorsk was younger and had a lower prevalence of obesity, diabetes and heavy smoking. The most worrisome findings were the high prevalence of a history of abortion and PID. A relatively high proportion of the women worked in physically demanding, or/and nickel-exposed occupations.
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