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The aim of this study was to assess whether higher plasma formaldehyde concentration existed in women diagnosed with miscarriage and whether it contributed to higher risk of miscarriage in Chinese women.A case-control study was conducted in 118 women with a diagnosed miscarriage at the first trimester and 191 healthy women who delivered at term. Plasma levels of formaldehyde were measured by gas chromatography in conjunction with mass spectrometry after derivatization of the formaldehyde to the pentafluorophenylhydrazone and characteristics of the subjects including age, education level, occupation, family income, home decoration status, and exposure to second-hand smoke were recorded. Logistic regression analyses were performed to investigate the relationship between miscarriage and levels of formaldehyde.Women with miscarriage were comparable to controls in terms of age, education level, occupation, family income, and home decoration status. They were, however, more likely to be exposed to second-hand smoke. Plasma levels of formaldehyde were significantly higher in women with miscarriage (0.0944 ± 0.0105 vs. 0.0239 ± 0.0032 μg/mL, P < .001). Multivariate logistic regression showed that higher level of formaldehyde (odds ratio [OR]: 8.06, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.96–13.09) and exposure to second-hand smoke (OR: 3.60, 95% CI: 1.58–8.20) were independently and significantly associated with higher risk of miscarriage.Plasma levels of formaldehyde were significantly higher in women who were diagnosed with miscarriage than those who delivered at term and higher levels of formaldehyde was an independent risk factor for miscarriage, with higher levels being associated with higher risk of miscarriage.