The general aim of this study was to explore the associations between foreign extraction and subjective health complaints (SHC) among school-aged children in Sweden.
Data were obtained from the global cross-sectional survey Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC), 1997/1998, 2001/2002, and 2005/2006. A total of 11,972 pupils in grades 5, 7 and 9 participated in the survey. Logistic regression analyses were used to estimate remaining risk of SHC among the subgroups of pupils. The analyses were adjusted for socio-demographic indicators, grade and measurement year.
Parental background: Swedish n = 9,585, mixed n = 1,263, and foreign n = 1,124. The results showed an increased risk of SHC among girls with a foreign background OR 1.27 (95% CI 1.04-1.55) compared with girls with a Swedish background and among girls in single-adult households OR 1.42 (95% CI 1.20-1.67) compared with girls in two-adult households. No such differences were shown among boys.
A significantly increased risk of ill health remained in girls of foreign background after adjustment for socio-demographic indicators, grade and measurement year.