Assessing the health of migrant and seasonal farmworkers in New York State: statewide data 2003-2005

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2010 May;21(2):448-63. doi: 10.1353/hpu.0.0279.


Objectives: New York State data were used to document demographic characteristics and identify the top five most prevalent disease conditions among migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families working in the state from 2003 to 2005.

Methods: Prevalence estimates were derived using enumeration and diagnosis data provided by New York State Department of Health contractors. The sample totals ranged from 6,500 to 8,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families.

Results: The majority of migrant and seasonal farmworkers were Hispanic with New York or Mexico the most frequently reported migrant home. Infections, muscular skeletal problems, respiratory disease, hypertension, and diabetes were the five most prevalent diseases identified.

Conclusion: Migrant and seasonal farmworkers in New York State experienced health conditions common among agricultural workers. Additional research and surveillance are necessary for understanding and serving their health needs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Agriculture*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Transients and Migrants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult