|Abstract or Summary
- Unknown questions remain concerning the health of migrant farm workers,
seasonal farm workers, and other rural poor people. The objectives of this study were to
determine the demographic profile of a sample from a Community and Migrant Health
Center; to determine the prevalence of disease in migrant farm workers, seasonal farm
workers and other clients; and to determine if differences existed in the prevalence of
disease between the three occupational groups.
Information from medical records for clients who visited an Oregon Community
and Migrant Health Center during 1993 was abstracted to determine whether differences
existed in demographic characteristics and in health status between migrant farm workers,
seasonal farm workers, and other clients. A random sample of 600 medical charts was
selected from the three occupational groups stratified by sex. The sample included adults
and children classified as migrant or seasonal farm workers and other clients. Data
abstracted from charts included socio-demographic information, physiologic
measurements, biochemical testing results, and disease prevalence.
Clients in this sample represented Latino (85.17%), Russian (4.8%), and Anglo
(10%) cultures. Female clients who were not migrant or seasonal farm workers had a
mean age of 27.42 years which was significantly different from the mean age of female
migrant farm workers of 18.95 years, and of female seasonal farm workers of 20.35 years.
Females who were not migrant or seasonal farm workers had significantly higher mean
body mass indexes, and systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
Female children classified as migrant farm worker had significantly higher blood
lead levels than female children whose parents were not migrant or seasonal farm workers.
Glucose levels for migrant farm workers was significantly higher than either of the other
two occupational groups. Findings of the study indicated that common diagnoses included
upper respiratory infection, otitis media, intestinal parasites or pathogens, dermatitis, and
urinary tract infection. The most commonly reported injuries were due to lacerations and
motor vehicle accidents. Additionally, 31.57% of PAP tests were abnormal, and violence
against girls and women was reported. Diagnoses of chronic diseases included diabetes,
hypertension, AIDS, cancer, and heart disease.