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J Occup Environ Med. 1998 Oct;40(10):917-24.

Reported health status among farmers and nonfarmers in nine rural districts.

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Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden.


Farmers appear to have a lower morbidity and mortality rate than other occupational groups. Whether this better health is due to exposure to farming or to the well-known fact that rural populations have better health than urban ones, irrespective of occupation, is not clear. To explore this problem, all male farmers in nine administrative areas and age-matched nonfarmers from the same rural areas were sampled and invited to participate in a survey. 1782 (76%) men responded. We found that farmers had somewhat lower rates of outpatient health care utilization for causes other than trauma and fewer hospital admissions. These differences were independent of the urban-rural factor and could not be explained by traditional determinants of health and health care utilization. Other factors, linked to farming or to farmers' lifestyles, are probably involved.

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