open access

Vol 70, No 4 (2019)
MARITIME MEDICINE Original articles
Published online: 2019-12-24
Submitted: 2019-02-10
Accepted: 2019-12-16
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Basic differences in the health profile between seafarers from the Philippines and Denmark

Henrik Lyngbeck Hansen, Glennda Canlas
DOI: 10.5603/IMH.2019.0033
·
Pubmed: 31891173
·
International Maritime Health 2019;70(4):210-215.

open access

Vol 70, No 4 (2019)
MARITIME MEDICINE Original articles
Published online: 2019-12-24
Submitted: 2019-02-10
Accepted: 2019-12-16

Abstract

Background: Seafarers in international trade are today recruited world-wide based on qualifications and costs. Health is another aspect. In this study, two cohorts of seafarers from the Philippines and Denmark undergoing pre-employment health examinations were compared. The purpose is to investigate differences in the outcome of the examinations and compare basic parameters.

Materials and methods: Two cohorts of equal number of seafarers from the Philippines and Denmark were established. A total of 9,654 consecutive health examinations at a large clinic in the Philippines were compared with a group with the same size examined in a number of clinics in Denmark. The Filipino seafarers were screened according to different company standards whereas the Danish seafarers were examined according to statutory standards.

Results: The age structure was different. Only 18% of seafarers from the Philippines were 45 years of age or above whereas almost 43% of the Danish seafarers were in this age category. Obesity was frequent in both cohorts although depending on the standard used as reference. Extreme obesity (body mass index, above 35) was 10 times more frequent among the Danish seafarers. A total of 4.4% of the Filipino seafarers were declared unfit whereas only 0.5% were found unfit among the Danish seafarers. Among the latter, 5.2% were found fit with limitations, which is a category not used in the Philippines.

Conclusions: The two groups are inhomogeneous and the health examinations the seafarers underwent differ. Comparisons should be done with caution. The difference in the age distribution of the two groups of seafarers is important factor due to the strong impact of age on health. Obesity was of major concern in both groups, although there were more with severe overweight and especially with extreme overweight among the Danish seafarers. Smoking frequency seems to be on the same level.

Abstract

Background: Seafarers in international trade are today recruited world-wide based on qualifications and costs. Health is another aspect. In this study, two cohorts of seafarers from the Philippines and Denmark undergoing pre-employment health examinations were compared. The purpose is to investigate differences in the outcome of the examinations and compare basic parameters.

Materials and methods: Two cohorts of equal number of seafarers from the Philippines and Denmark were established. A total of 9,654 consecutive health examinations at a large clinic in the Philippines were compared with a group with the same size examined in a number of clinics in Denmark. The Filipino seafarers were screened according to different company standards whereas the Danish seafarers were examined according to statutory standards.

Results: The age structure was different. Only 18% of seafarers from the Philippines were 45 years of age or above whereas almost 43% of the Danish seafarers were in this age category. Obesity was frequent in both cohorts although depending on the standard used as reference. Extreme obesity (body mass index, above 35) was 10 times more frequent among the Danish seafarers. A total of 4.4% of the Filipino seafarers were declared unfit whereas only 0.5% were found unfit among the Danish seafarers. Among the latter, 5.2% were found fit with limitations, which is a category not used in the Philippines.

Conclusions: The two groups are inhomogeneous and the health examinations the seafarers underwent differ. Comparisons should be done with caution. The difference in the age distribution of the two groups of seafarers is important factor due to the strong impact of age on health. Obesity was of major concern in both groups, although there were more with severe overweight and especially with extreme overweight among the Danish seafarers. Smoking frequency seems to be on the same level.

Get Citation

Keywords

maritime medicine, pre-employment health examinations

About this article
Title

Basic differences in the health profile between seafarers from the Philippines and Denmark

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 70, No 4 (2019)

Pages

210-215

Published online

2019-12-24

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2019.0033

Pubmed

31891173

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2019;70(4):210-215.

Keywords

maritime medicine
pre-employment health examinations

Authors

Henrik Lyngbeck Hansen
Glennda Canlas

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