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Int J Occup Environ Health. 2009 Jan-Mar;15(1):21-8.

Mortality and morbidity among farmers, nonfarming rural men, and urban referents: a prospective population-based study.

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Division of Psychiatry, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden.


A cohort of 1,220 farmers, 1,130 nonfarming rural men, and 1,087 urban referents from Sweden were monitored for 12 years. Farmers had lower mortality than urban referents for all causes of death (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.37-0.71), cancer (HR = 0.44; 95% CI, 0.24-0.78) and cardiovascular diseases (HR = 0.60; 95% CI, 0.36-0.99). Nonfarming rural men had lower mortality than urban referents for all causes of deaths (HR = 0.81; 95% CI, 0.70-0.94). Farmers and nonfarming rural men had significantly lower morbidity risks of cancer and of psychiatric disorders than urban referents. Farmers had significantly lower risk of endocrine disorders, cardiovascular disorders, and respiratory disorders. In general, morbidity was lower among nonfarming rural men compared with urban referents and was even lower among farmers. Urban referents had, however, significantly less musculoskeletal disorder morbidity. An urban-rural factor and a farming occupational or lifestyle factor results in lower mortality and morbidity rates except concerning musculoskeletal disorders.

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