Journal of Rural Medicine
Online ISSN : 1880-4888
Print ISSN : 1880-487X
Original Article
Agricultural workers in a cohort of middle-aged Japanese women showed better health status than did women with other occupations
Hisaka IijimaShosuke SuzukiHiroshi KoyamaMinato NakazawaYuji Wakimoto
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ジャーナル フリー

2018 年 13 巻 1 号 p. 57-63

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Objective: This study investigated the relationship between occupations and health status to obtain an overall understanding of a cohort of Japanese middle-aged women, including unemployed women, who comprised approximately 30% of the sample.

Participants and Methods: Participants of this study were 4,454 women aged 40–69 years, classified into the following five groups based on their occupation: unemployed, 1,432; agriculture, 439; self-employed, 1,596; white collared, 793; and blue collared, 194. Participants’ perceived health was assessed using a symptoms checklist called the Todai Health Index (THI, later renamed as the Total Health Index) in a baseline survey conducted in 1993. The mortality risk of the participants was assessed using the Cox’s Proportional Hazards Model.

Results: The means of the percentile values on the Total Scale 1 in the THI were as follows: agriculture, 43.7; unemployed, 50.8; self-employed, 52.5; white collared, 53.0; and blue collared, 56.1, with lower percentile values indicating better perceived health. The results showed that women engaged in agriculture were in significantly better health than were those in the other four occupations. The hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals of the occupational groups adjusted for age, area of residence, and Total Scale 1 scores were as follows: agriculture (reference group), 1; white collared, 1.16 (0.77–1.74); self-employed, 1.25 (0.87–1.78); unemployed, 1.27 (0.91–1.77); and blue collared, 1.50 (0.86–2.60).

Conclusions: Women engaged in agriculture had a significantly higher tendency to have a better health status on the THI as compared to those from the other four occupational groups, and they exhibited the lowest HR as compared to their counterparts, though not statistically significant. We concluded that the perceived health status of unemployed women was similar to that of women engaged in agriculture.

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© 2018 by THE JAPANESE ASSOCIATION OF RURAL MEDICINE
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