Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with a substantially increased risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. We examined the contribution of length of residence, socioeconomic position and lifestyle-related factors to the differences in the prevalence of MetS among migrants compared with Finns.
Cross-sectional data from randomly sampled 30-64year-old health examination participants (318 Russian, 212 Somali, and 321 Kurdish origin migrants) of the Migrant Health and Wellbeing Survey (2010-2012) were used. Health 2011 Survey participants (n=786) were the reference group.
Compared with Finns, prevalence of MetS was significantly higher among all migrants except for Somali men. Among men, age-adjusted prevalence ratio (PR) of MetS compared with Finns was 1.71, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19-2.46 for Russians, PR 0.95 (95% CI 0.54-1.67) for Somali, and PR 2.10 (95% CI 1.51-2.93) for Kurds. Among women, respective PRs were 1.45 (95% CI 1.08-1.97) for Russians, PR 2.34 (95% CI 1.75-3.14) for Somali and PR 2.22 (95% CI 1.67-2.97) for Kurds. Adjustment for sociodemographic and lifestyle-related factors attenuated the differences in MetS among women but not men.
Further studies should aim at identifying factors related to elevated risk for MetS among Russian and Kurdish men. Interventions aiming at improving lifestyle-related factors are needed for reducing inequalities in the prevalence of MetS among migrant women. Effectiveness of interventions focusing on reducing overweight and obesity among Somali and Kurdish women should be evaluated.
The increasing number of elderly migrants in Europe poses challenges for the organisation of healthcare and social services if these migrants do not remigrate to their countries of birth at old age. More insight into perceptions of aging among migrant women is needed to inform service delivery for culturally and linguistic diverse populations, yet few studies have explored this field. The aim of this study is to explore perceptions of aging among middle-aged migrant women, with emphasis on identifying factors shaping their decisions on whether to remigrate or stay in Denmark during old age.
The study is based on 14 semi-structured interviews including a total of 29 migrant women residing in Copenhagen, Denmark. The women were born in Somalia, Turkey, India, Iran, Pakistan, or Middle Eastern countries. The majority of participants were middle-aged and had one or more chronic illnesses. The analysis was inspired by phenomenological methods and guided by theory on access to services, social relations, and belonging.
The results showed that the existence of chronic conditions requiring frequent use of medical care and the availability of high-quality healthcare in Denmark were important factors for the decision to spend one's old age in Denmark rather than to remigrate to one's country of origin. Similarly, availability of social services providing financial and tangible support for the elderly was perceived to be important during old age. For these middle-aged women, social ties to children and grandchildren in Denmark and feelings of belonging further nourished a wish to stay in Denmark rather than remigrating.
Since the study suggests that elderly migrants will be utilising healthcare and social services in Denmark rather than returning to their countries of birth, these services should prepare for increased cultural and linguistic diversity among users. This could entail provision of translators, specific outreach programmes, and culturally adapted services to meet elderly from diverse linguistic, religious, and cultural backgrounds.
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Migrants are less likely to participate in mammography screening programmes compared with local-born populations in Europe. We explored perceptions of breast cancer risk and the influence on participation in mammography screening programmes among migrant women born in countries with low incidence rates of breast cancer. We conducted eight individual interviews and six group interviews including a total of 29 women aged 50-69 years living in Copenhagen, Denmark. Women were migrants born in Somalia, Turkey, Pakistan or Arab countries. Phenomenological analysis was used. Breast cancer was perceived to be caused by multiple factors, including genetics, health behaviour, stress, fertility and breastfeeding. Some women perceived breast cancer to be more prevalent in Denmark as compared with their country of birth, and perceived their risk of developing breast cancer to increase with length of stay in Denmark. Although most women agreed on the relevance of mammography screening, other cancers, chronic and infectious diseases and mental health problems were mentioned as equally or more important to target in public health programmes. A life course perspective comprising previous and current circumstances in country of birth as well as immigration country is important for understanding and influencing the screening behaviour of migrants.
Approximately 25% of children under the age of 18 in the Municipality of Copenhagen have a non-Danish ethnic background, and it is suspected that there may be major inequalities in oral health as a result. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to describe the occurrence of dental caries in different ethnic minorities, and to analyse whether the dental caries experience of the children may be affected by cultural and behavioural differences. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was conducted in Copenhagen as a cross-sectional investigation of 794 children, aged 3 and 5 years old (preschool), 7 years old (Grade 1) and 15 years old (Grade 9). Children of Danish, Turkish, Pakistani, Albanian, Somali and Arabian backgrounds were selected by convenience sampling. Epidemiological data were retrieved from the Danish Recording System for the Public Dental Health Services (SCOR) and sociological data were collected by postal questionnaires. RESULTS: Marked differences in dental caries prevalence were observed when different ethnic minorities were compared to Danish children. These were most prominent for the primary dentition. At age 7, 53% of the Danish and 84% of the Albanian children were affected by dental caries, the mean caries experience was 3.5 dmfs (decayed, missed and filled surfaces) and 13.8 dmfs, respectively. Caries in incisors and/or smooth surfaces was observed in 10% of the Danish children and 48% of the Albanian children. There were cultural differences in dental attendance and self-care practices of children and parents. These socio-behavioural factors may help to explain the differences in dental caries prevalence and severity. CONCLUSIONS: Development of appropriate oral health promotion strategies is urgently needed to improve oral health behaviour and attitudes of parents and children of ethnic minorities. Preventive programs should be organized at local community level in close collaboration with key persons of ethnic minority societies.
Compared with children born of Danish mothers, the mortality of children, born and living in Denmark, is significantly increased in those with a mother from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Turkey. Consanguinity has been suggested to account for part of this disparity. Since information on consanguinity is lacking, this suggestion is difficult to test. With an indirect approach, we addressed this question by comparing the risk of diseases with autosomal recessive inheritance in children born in Denmark of Danish-born women and of women born in these five countries, respectively.
All children born in Denmark (1994-2010) were followed until 5 years of age or end-of-study period for the risk of hospitalisation with diseases of autosomal recessive aetiology, and therefore considered consanguinity-related. Diagnoses of autosomal recessive diseases were identified using two different methods: a literature review of consanguinity-associated diseases and a search in the Online Catalogue of Human Genes and Genetic Disorders. Risks were also calculated for diseases with known non-autosomal recessive aetiology (considered non-consanguinity-related). We estimated adjusted hazard ratios for the diseases in children of foreign-born women compared with children of Danish-born women.
Compared with offspring of Danish-born women, the risk of a consanguinity-related disease was significantly increased in children of foreign-born women, although the absolute risk was low. The risk of non-consanguinity-related diseases did not differ between the groups compared.
The findings support the hypothesis that consanguinity accounts for some, however a minor part, of the disparity in child mortality among migrants in Denmark.
Elective abortions show a secular decline in high income countries. That general pattern, however, may mask meaningful differences-and a potentially rising trend-among age, income, and other racial/ethnic groups. We explore these differences in Denmark, a high-income, low-fertility country with excellent data on terminations and births.
We examined monthly elective abortions (n = 225,287) from 1995 to 2009, by maternal age, parity, income level and mother's country of origin. We applied time-series methods to live births as well as spontaneous and elective abortions to approximate the denominator of pregnancies at risk of elective abortion. We used linear regression methods to identify trend and seasonal patterns.
Despite an overall declining trend, teenage women show a rising proportion of pregnancies that end in an elective termination (56% to 67%, 1995 to 2009). Non-Western immigrant women also show a slight increase in incidence. Heightened economic disadvantage among non-Western immigrant women does not account for this rise. Elective abortions also show a sustained "summer peak" in June, July and August. Low-income women show the most pronounced summer peak.
Identification of the causes of the increase over time in elective abortion among young women, and separately among non-Western immigrant women, represents key areas of further inquiry. The unexpected increase over time in elective abortions among teens and non-Western immigrants in Denmark may signal important social and cultural impediments to contraception. The summer peak in abortions among low-income women, moreover, conflicts with the conventional assumption that the social and demographic composition of mothers who electively end their pregnancy remains stable within a calendar year.
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The stressful migration process has been associated with higher vulnerability for mental health problems, implying a greater need for mental healthcare among immigrants compared with native-born. Our objective was to investigate whether potential differences in the use of psychiatrists and psychologists in labour immigrants, immigrants from refugee-generating countries (RGC), and ethnic Danes could be fully explained by mental health status.
We conducted a nationwide survey in 2007 with 3,573 individuals aged 18-66 comprising ethnic Danes, labour immigrants (Pakistan and Turkey), and immigrants from RGC (Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Somalia). Survey data was linked to healthcare utilisation registries. Using Poisson regression, contacts with private practising psychiatrists and psychologists were estimated. Analyses were adjusted for socioeconomic factors and mental health status.
Overall, 2.2 % among ethnic Danes, 1.4 % among labour immigrants and 6.5 % among immigrants from RGC consulted a psychiatrist or psychologist. In adjusted analyses, for psychiatrists, compared with ethnic Danes, labour-immigrant women (multiplicative effect = 1.78), and immigrant women from RGC (multiplicative effect = 2.49) had increased use, while labour-immigrant men had decreased use (multiplicative effect = 0.03). For psychologists, immigrant men from RGC had increased use (multiplicative effect = 2.96), while labour-immigrant women had decreased use (multiplicative effect = 0.27) compared with ethnic Danes.
Mental health status had a somewhat explanatory effect on the use of psychiatrists and psychologists. These selected parts of the Danish mental healthcare system seem responsive to health needs across different population groups, particularly for immigrants from RGC. Yet more attention should be given to non-Western labour immigrants to meet their mental health needs.
High prevalences of vitamin D deficiency have been reported in non-Western immigrants moving to Western countries, including Norway, but there is limited information on vitamin D status in infants born to immigrant mothers. We aimed to describe the vitamin D status and potentially correlated factors among infants aged 6 weeks and their mothers with Pakistani, Turkish or Somali background attending child health clinics in Norway. Eighty-six healthy infants and their mothers with immigrant background were recruited at the routine 6-week check-up at nine centres between 2004 and 2006. Venous or capillary blood was collected at the clinics from the mother and infant, and serum separated for analysis of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (s-25(OH)D) and intact parathyroid hormone (s-iPTH). The mean maternal s-25(OH)D was 25.8 nmol/l, with 57 % below 25 nmol/l and 15 % below 12.5 nmol/l. Of the mothers, 26 % had s-iPTH>5.7 pmol/l. For infants, mean s-25(OH)D was 41.7 nmol/l, with 47 % below 25 nmol/l and 34 % below 12.5 nmol/l. s-25(OH)D was considerably lower in the thirty-one exclusively breast-fed infants (mean 11.1 nmol/l; P