Socioeconomic status and health of immigrants.

: The aim of this article is to acquaint the general public with select socioeconomic status (SES) parameters (type of work, education level, employment category, and net monthly income) of select nationalities (Ukrainians, Slovaks, Vietnamese, Poles, and Russians) from a total of 1,014 immigrants residing in the Czech Republic. It will also present a subjective assessment of socioeconomic status and its interconnection with subjective assessment of health status. This work was carried out as part of the "Social determinants and their impact on the health of immigrants living in the Czech Republic" project (identification number LD 13044), which was conducted under the auspices of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) agency. Quantitative methodology in the form of a questionnaire was selected to facilitate the research aim. Data was processed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), version 16.0 (SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Statistical analyses were performed using the Pearson chi-square test, adjusted residual analysis, and multivariate correspondence analysis. The results of these tests demonstrated a statistically significant relationship between subjective assessments of socioeconomic status and the following related select characteristics: type of work performed (manual/intellectual), employment categories, education, and net monthly income. Results indicate that those situated lowest on the socioeconomic ladder feel the poorest in terms of health; not only from a subjective perspective, but also in terms of objective parameter comparisons (e.g. manual laborers who earn low wages). As the level of subjective SES assessment increases, the level of subjective health assessment increases, as well. Thus, the relationship has a natural gradient, as was described by Wilkinson and Marmot in 2003. Our study found no evidence of a healthy immigrant effect. Therefore, it was not possible to confirm that health status deteriorates with length of residence, or that the health status of immigrants with a residence duration of less than 5 to 10 years is statistically significantly better than immigrants who have resided in the Czech Republic for 10 years or more. We conclude that, by increasing the education levels of immigrants, or actively selecting qualified foreign workers (according to set criteria), the number of people in the Czech Republic who positively assess their health status will surge. In terms of prevention, it is essential to focus on manual laborers and to differentiate specific methods to improve their health status (e.g. awareness-raising campaigns in large plants and factories), given that they comprise the weakest group in this regard.

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