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Nord J Psychiatry. 2008;62(5):392-8. doi: 10.1080/08039480801984263.

The impact of ethnicity and self-reported health on psychological well-being: a comparative study of Kurdish-born and Swedish-born people.

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  • 1Center for Family and Community Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden.


Although immigrants generally have poorer health and higher psychological distress than the native population, information on Kurdish immigrants' psychological well-being is limited. The aims of the study were to examine the association between ethnicity and poor psychological well-being, and to assess the relationships between socio-demographic characteristics, self-reported health, somatic pain, gastrointestinal complaints and poor psychological well-being.


Immigrants with self-reported Kurdish ethnicity (men, n=111; women, n=86) in Sweden from the national sample of immigrants aged 27-60 and 1407 Swedes (1996) were studied. Unconditional logistic regression was performed using the Stata Software program. In the logistic model adjusted for age, sex, employment and self-reported health, the odds ratio for Kurdish-born subjects for having poor psychological well-being is twice as high as for Swedish-born subjects. Subjects with poor self-reported health had more than a threefold higher odds ratio for having poor psychological well-being compared with those with good self-reported health. Furthermore, being female, having somatic pain and recurrent gastrointestinal complaints regardless of ethnicity increased the odds for having poor psychological well-being. Being Kurdish-born and/or reporting poor health in addition to age, female gender, somatic pain and recurrent gastrointestinal complaints is significantly and independently related to poor psychological well-being even when adjusted for all confounders.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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