BACKGROUND: The aim was to investigate compliance by ethnic groups to the mammography screening programme in the City of Copenhagen over six years and to look at developments over time. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Mammography screening has, since 1 April 1991, been offered free of charge to all women between 50 and 69 years of age in the City of Copenhagen. Data on women born in Poland, Turkey, Yugoslavia, and Pakistan divided into five-year groups were compared to that of women born in Denmark and all other foreign-born women. Data from 1991 to 1997 were grouped according to the mammography performed, the offer refused, or non-appearance. RESULTS: Whereas 71% of Danish-born women accepted mammography, compliance by foreign-born women was significantly lower. The offer was accepted by 36% of Pakistanis, 45% of Yugoslavians, 53% of Turks, and 64% of Poles. Compliance fell in all ethnic groups with advancing age. Of the Danish women, 16% failed to keep the appointment. The corresponding percentages were 52 for Pakistanis, 48 for Yugoslavians, 41 for Turks, and 23 for Poles. The proportion of women who actively refused the offer was similar in all groups. The number of invited women fell during the period. CONCLUSIONS: The lower participation of women from the countries under study might have various explanations: among them the language barrier, procedure-related factors, and a lower incidence of breast cancer in the countries of origin.
Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden; Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS), Stockholm University, Karolinska Institutet, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Social capital research has recognized the relevance of occupational network contacts for individuals' life chances and status attainment, and found distinct associations dependent on ethnic background. A still fairly unexplored area is the health implications of occupational networks. The current approach thus seeks to study the relationship between access to occupational social capital and depressive symptoms in early adulthood, and to examine whether the associations differ between persons with native Swedish parents and those with parents born in Iran and the former Yugoslavia. The two-wave panel comprised 19- and 23-year-old Swedish citizens whose parents were born in either Sweden, Iran or the former Yugoslavia. The composition of respondents' occupational networks contacts was measured with a so-called position generator. Depressive symptoms were assessed with a two-item depression screener. A population-averaged model was used to estimate the associations between depressive symptoms and access to occupational contact networks. Similar levels of depressive symptoms in respondents with parents born in Sweden and Yugoslavia were contrasted by a notably higher prevalence of these conditions in those with an Iranian background. After socioeconomic conditions were adjusted for, regression analysis showed that the propensity for depressive symptoms in women with an Iranian background increased with a higher number of manual class contacts, and decreased for men and women with Iranian parents with a higher number of prestigious occupational connections. The respective associations in persons with native Swedish parents and parents from the former Yugoslavia are partly reversed. Access to occupational contact networks, but also perceived ethnic identity, explained a large portion of the ethnic variation in depression. Mainly the group with an Iranian background seems to benefit from prestigious occupational contacts. Among those with an Iranian background, social status concerns and expected marginalization in manual class occupations may have contributed to their propensity for depressive symptoms.
The adjustment and behaviour of immigrant schoolchildren were studied by means of teacher interviews. The material consisted of 50 Finnish and 37 southern European children. For comparison, 44 Swedish migrant children were also sampled. All had settled in the County of Stockholm three years prior to the study. Swedish children who had lived in the county for more than four years served as controls. In the teachers' opinions the immigrants as a whole had adjustment difficulties more often than the controls, but the proportion of children with such difficulties was no higher among the immigrant children. Compared with the controls the immigrant children showed a higher frequency of symptoms relating to a disordered self-esteem. The immigrant children were also considered to have a lower status and to be less trustworthy than the controls. The schooling of these children demands serious attention in order to prevent discrimination and to promote a feeling of personal worth among the children.
AIM: This paper reports the findings of a study exploring the health and illness beliefs of men with diabetes, who were from different cultural backgrounds and living in Sweden. BACKGROUND: No studies have been reported that have focused on the beliefs about health and illness in men with diabetes mellitus of different ethnic origin. Beliefs may affect self-care and care-seeking behaviour. METHOD: An explorative study design and purposive sampling procedure was used. Focus-group interviews were held with 35 men with diabetes and aged between 39 and 78 years. Fourteen participants were born in Arabic countries, 10 in former Yugoslavia and 11 in Sweden. FINDINGS: Important factors for health were the ability to be occupied/employed and economically independent and, especially among Arabs and former Yugoslavians, sexual functioning. Swedes focused on heredity, lifestyle and management of diabetes, while non-Swedes claimed the influence of supernatural factors and emotional stress related to the role of being an immigrant and migratory experiences as factors related to development of diabetes and having a negative influence on health. Swedes and Arabs described health as "freedom from disease" in contrast to many former Yugoslavians who described health as "wealth and the most important thing in life". Knowledge about diabetes was limited among the men studied, but Arabs showed an active information-seeking behaviour compared with Swedes and former Yugoslavians. Non-Swedish respondents, particularly Arabs, had sought help from health care professionals to a greater extent than Swedes, who were more likely to use self-care measures. CONCLUSION: Being occupied/employed and having knowledge about the body and management of diabetes are important for positive health development. There are dissimilarities in beliefs about health and diabetes that influence self-care behaviour and health care seeking. Men's cultural backgrounds and spiritual beliefs need to be considered in diabetes care.
In a multicultural society the frequency of contact with migrant diabetic individuals will increase, as well as the need for knowledge about their beliefs about health and illness, which have rarely been studied. The aim of the present study was to explore beliefs about health and illness among migrant Yugoslavian and Swedish diabetic subjects that might affect their self-reported self-care practices and care-seeking behaviours. The study design was explorative, and a purposive sampling procedure was used. Fifteen females born in Sweden and 13 in former Yugoslavia, aged 33-73 years, with previously known diabetes mellitus were recruited from primary health care centres in southern Sweden. Median time of residence in Sweden was 5 years (range 2-30 years). Eight of the Yugoslavians had their diabetes diagnosed in Sweden. Focus-group interviews including scenarios of common problems related to diabetes mellitus were held. Yugoslavian females in general gave less tangible examples concerning beliefs about health and illness. Yugoslavians were orientated towards feelings related to their migratory experiences, enjoyed life by making deviations from dietary advice and retaining former traditions, and were less inclined towards self-monitoring and preventive foot care. They also expressed a passive role, depending on health care personnel, and discussed the influence of supernatural forces. Swedes expressed themselves in terms of medicine and a healthy lifestyle, took active part in their self-care and let self-monitoring guide their actions. Self-care was mainly practised to restore health when ill in both groups, and when help was needed it was sought in the professional sector (nurse or physician). Yugoslavians expressed higher confidence in physicians and used more natural cure medicine, side by side with biomedicine, while Swedes more frequently used alternative medicine. Demonstrated dissimilarities illustrate that beliefs about health and illness differ between migrant Yugoslavian and Swedish diabetic individuals, and are essential for self-care practice and care-seeking behaviour and must be considered when planning diabetes care.
We used the nation-wide Swedish Family-Cancer Database to analyse the risk of nervous system tumours, leukaemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in age groups 0-4 and 0-19 years among Swedish-born offspring of immigrants. The study included 850 000 individuals with an immigrant background, including European, Asian and American parents. We calculated standardised incidence ratios for the above three malignancies using Swedish offspring as a reference. Subjects were grouped by region or by selected countries of parental origin. No group differed significantly from Swedes in the occurrence of nervous system neoplasm or leukaemia. Offspring of Yugoslav fathers (SIR 2.27) and Turkish parents were at increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The highest risk was noted for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among young offspring (0-4 years) of two Turkish parents (6.87). The currently available limited data on rates for childhood non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in these countries do not explain the risk in the offspring of immigrants. Yugoslavs and Turks are recent immigrant groups to Sweden, and their offspring have been subject to much population mixing, perhaps leading to recurring infections and immunological stimulation, which may contribute to their excess of lymphomas.
We used the nationwide Swedish Family-Cancer Database to analyse cancer risks in 613,000 adult immigrants to Sweden. All the immigrants had become parents in Sweden and their median age at immigration was 24 years for men and 22 years for women. We calculated standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for 18 cancer sites using native Swedes as a reference. Data were also available from compatriot marriages. All cancer was decreased by 5% and 8% for immigrant men and women, respectively. However, most of the male increase was due to lung cancer for which male immigrants showed a 41% excess. Among individual cancer sites and immigrant countries, 110 comparisons were significant, 62 showing protection and 48 an increased risk. Most of the differences between the rates in immigrants and Swedes could be ascribed to the variation of cancer incidence in the indigenous populations. Some high immigrant SIRs were 5.05 (n = 6, 95% CI 1.82-11.06) for stomach cancer in Rumanian women and 2.41 (41, 1.73-3.27) for lung cancer in Dutch men. At some sites, such as testis, prostate, skin (melanoma), kidney, cervix and nervous system, the SIRs for immigrants were decreased; in some groups of immigrants SIRs were about 0.20. The highest rates for testicular cancer were noted for Danes and Chileans. Women from Yugoslavia and Turkey had an excess of thyroid tumours. All immigrant groups showed breast, endometrial and ovarian cancers at or below the Swedish level but the differences were no more than 2-fold.
We used the nationwide Swedish Family-Cancer Database to analyze cancer risks in Sweden-born descendants of immigrants from European and North American countries. Our study included close to 600,000 0-66-year-old descendants of an immigrant father or mother. We calculated standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for 17 cancer sites using native Swedes as a reference. All cancer was marginally below the Swedish incidence in offspring of immigrant origin. Decreased SIRs were observed for breast cancer among Norwegian descendants, melanoma among descendants of Hungarian fathers and ovarian and bladder cancer among descendents of Finnish mothers, all consistent with the difference in cancer incidence between Swedes and the indigenous populations. Cervical cancer was increased in daughters of Danish men, whereas thyroid cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were in excess in offspring of parents of Yugoslav and Asian descent. Even these results agreed with the high incidence rates in parents compared to Swedes, except that for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma other explanations are needed; these may be related to immune malfunction. Comparison of the results between the first- and the second-generation immigrants suggest that the first 2 decades of life are important in setting the pattern for cancer development in subsequent life. Birth in Sweden sets the Swedish pattern for cancer incidence, irrespective of the nationality of descent, while entering Sweden in the 20s is already too late to influence the environmentally imprinted program for the cancer destiny.