Health in relation to unemployment and sick leave among immigrants in Sweden from a gender perspective

J Immigr Health. 2004 Jul;6(3):103-18. doi: 10.1023/b:joih.0000030226.59785.38.


The purpose of this study was to analyze health in relation to unemployment and sick leave among immigrants from a gender perspective. Questionnaire, observations, and group discussions were used for data collection. The study group consisted of 60 unemployed persons with immigrant or refugee background, 30 women and 30 men. Slightly more than half of the participants considered their health to be poor and experienced physical and/or mental disorders. The female participants in comparison to male participants experienced poorer health. The results show that there is a reciprocal influence between health, work, and migration. Immigration may cause poor health, which as a selection effect leads to unemployment and/or sick leave. Immigration may also bring about an inferior position in the labor market, which leads to poor health due to exposure effects. The influence on health is more marked for immigrant women than for immigrant men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Africa / ethnology
  • Asia / ethnology
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Insurance Coverage / statistics & numerical data
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Latin America / ethnology
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Unemployment / psychology
  • Unemployment / statistics & numerical data*