Low–Socioeconomic Status Workers: Their Health Risks and How to Reach Them

Objective: To help workplace health promotion practitioners reach low–socioeconomic status workers at high risk for chronic diseases. Methods: We describe low–socioeconomic status workers’ diseases, health status, demographics, risk behaviors, and workplaces, using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, and Bureau of Labor Statistics. Results: Workers with household annual incomes less than $35,000, or a high school education or less, report more chronic diseases and lower health status. They tend to be younger, nonwhite, and have much higher levels of smoking and missed cholesterol screening. They are concentrated in the smallest and largest workplaces and in three low-wage industries that employ one-quarter of the population. Conclusions: To decrease chronic diseases among low–socioeconomic status workers, we need to focus workplace health promotion programs on workers in low-wage industries and small workplaces.

Source: http://journals.lww.com/joem/Abstract/2011/02000/Low_Socioeconomic_Status_Workers__Their_Health.5.aspx

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