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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


GOMES, Keila R O  and  TANAKA, Ana Cristina d'A. Reported morbidity and use of health services by working women, Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.37, n.1, pp.75-82. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: Inclusion in the work force has become part of women's daily lives, and they have to cope with multiple tasks and manage double working shifts. A study was carried out to assess working women's morbidity and their use of health services. METHODS: By means of a household survey, chronic and acute morbidity (i.e. within 30 days of data collection) was reported by 1,157 women aged 10 to 49 years living in the southern area of the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Data were collected from January 1992 to January 1993. The relationship between employment and marital status, educational level and socioeconomic status was evaluated. RESULTS: Women who had a paid job were more likely to complain of acute or chronic morbidity. Also, these women tended to be less likely to seek medical services for their health problem. The most prevalent acute illnesses were: respiratory illnesses, especially influenza or colds (72/1,000), abdominal and pelvic pain (13.2/1,000), headaches (11.4/1,000), and hypertension (9.5/1,000). Regarding chronic complaints, hypertension (39.7/1,000), back pain (26.5/1,000), gastritis or inflammation of duodenum (24.6/1,000), and bronchitis (24.6/1,000) were the most prevalent conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Although employed women reported more health complaints than women who were not employed, their use of health services was equal to or less than that of women who were not employed for most health conditions studied.

Keywords : Women's health; Women, working; Morbidity; Occupational health; Health services; Socioeconomic factors; Self-reported morbidity.

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