Author(s): Westman J, Martelin T, Hrknen T, Koskinen S, Sundquist K
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Abstract AIMS: There is a lack of studies comparing health among immigrant groups with health among the population in their country of origin. This study compared the prevalence of self-rated poor health between Finns living in Sweden and Finns living in Finland. METHODS: Data were obtained from the Swedish Annual Level of Living Survey between 1996 and 2003 and the Finnish national survey "Health 2000''. Odds ratios (OR) of self-rated poor health were estimated adjusting for age, marital status, education, employment and smoking. The participants were 21,991 Swedes and 836 Finns living in Sweden, and 5,096 Finns living in Finland. RESULTS: For Finnish women living in Sweden the odds of self-rated poor health was significantly higher (OR=1.25, 95\% CI=1.02-1.54) than for Finnish women living in Finland. An opposite pattern appeared among men; Finnish men living in Finland tended to have higher odds of self-rated poor health than Finnish men living in Sweden, although not to a statistically significant extent. In addition, Finns in Finland and in Sweden rated their health poorer than Swedes. CONCLUSIONS: Migration may have a different effect on Finnish men's and women's self-rated health. Further studies are needed to investigate the complex pathways between country of residence and self-rated health among immigrants.
This article was published in Scand J Public Health
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism