Health disparities between immigrant and Danish cleaners
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article › Research › peer-review
PURPOSE: It is unknown whether immigrants working in the cleaning industry have a poorer health and work ability than cleaners from the native population. The main aim was to investigate differences in objective and self-reported health measures between immigrant and Danish cleaners.
METHODS: Three hundred and fifty-one cleaners, consisting of 166 Danes (88% women) and 179 immigrants (74% women) (6 with unknown ethnicity), from 9 workplaces in Denmark participated in the study. Health and work ability were obtained by objective (e.g., BMI and blood pressure) and self-reported measures (e.g., work ability, self-rated health, and musculoskeletal symptoms). In order to investigate differences between Danish and immigrant cleaners, logistic regression analyses and General Linear Models were performed.
RESULTS: When controlling for age, sex, workplace, job seniority, and smoking, more Danish compared with immigrant cleaners were current smokers (42% vs. 28%, p < 0.001 (not controlled for smoking)), had hypertension (46% vs. 26%, p < 0.05) and drank more alcohol (3.0 vs. 0.8 units per day, respectively, p < 0.001). Contrary, more immigrants compared with Danish cleaners were measured to be overweight (47% vs. 30%, p < 0.05), reported less than good work ability (57% vs. 42%, p < 0.01), considered it unthinkable/unsure to be able to perform work 2 years ahead (37% vs. 23%, p < 0.01), reported reduced self-rated health (46% vs. 38%, p < 0.01) and everyday pain in the neck/shoulder (28% vs. 11%, p < 0.01), wrist (18% vs. 7%, p < 0.01), and lower back (21% vs. 10%, p < 0.01). There were no differences in self-reported chronic diseases.
CONCLUSIONS: Although the health of the cleaners was alarmingly poor, the immigrant cleaners generally had a poorer self-reported health and work ability than the Danish cleaners. These findings highlight the need for occupational health actions among cleaners, particularly tailored to the immigrant subpopulation.
|Journal||International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2011|
- Adult, Blood Pressure, Body Mass Index, Cross-Sectional Studies, Denmark/epidemiology, Emigrants and Immigrants/statistics & numerical data, Female, Health Behavior/ethnology, Health Status, Health Status Disparities, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Occupational Health/ethnology