Doctor-certified sickness absence in first and second trimesters of pregnancy among native and immigrant women in Norway





Scandinavian journal of public health;41(2)





Aims: The authors sought to estimate differences in doctor-certified sickness absence during pregnancy among immigrant and native women. Methods: Population-based cohort study of pregnant women attending three Child Health Clinics in Groruddalen, Oslo, and their offspring. Questionnaire data were collected at gestational weeks 10–20 and 28. The participation rate was 74%. A multivariate Poisson regression was used to analyse differences in sickness absence in pregnancy between immigrant and native women. Results: A total of 573 women who were employed prior to their pregnancies were included, 51% were immigrants. After adjusting for age, years of education, marital status, number of children, occupation, part-time/full-time work, health status, severe pregnancy-induced emesis and language proficiency, the immigrant/native differences in number of weeks with sickness absence decreased from 2.0 to 1.2 weeks. Part-time/full-time work, health status, severe pregnancy-induced emesis and language proficiency were significant predictors of sickness absence. Conclusion: Immigrant women had higher sickness absence than native women during pregnancy. The difference in average number of weeks between native and immigrant women was partly explained by poorer health status prior to pregnancy, severe pregnancy-induced emesis and poorer proficiency in the Norwegian language among the immigrant women.



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