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The health status of working women in Hawaii

, : The health status of working women in Hawaii. Hawaii Medical Journal 50(1): 18-23

The effect of work on women's health was examined in this study by comparing selected health indicators and specific chronic conditions among employed men, employed women and housewives. The study analyzed data from the Hawaii Health Surveillance Program. The study group was comprised of 56,203 subjects and represented a randomly stratified sample of the population interviewed during the period 1981-1986. Housewives as a group were older, less educated and reported the lowest family income compared to employed men or employed women. The prevalence of several specific chronic conditions were higher among housewives than in employed men and employed women. Multiple regression analysis tested the difference in several health indicators (chronic conditions, hospital episodes and restricted activity days) between employed men, employed women and housewives, controlled for sociodemographic variables. The health status of housewives was clearly worse than that of employed men and employed women by all health indicators; employed women had more hospital episodes than employed men. The results suggest that mostly healthy women are selected for the labor force. Among employed women, those in poor health and needing hospital services more frequently, are probably at high risk of dropping out of work. Our study projects the importance of promoting occupational good health for employed women during their working life.


PMID: 2022471

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