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Sweden's minorities struggle with health

Paul O'Mahony · 18 Jan 2010, 16:39

Published: 18 Jan 2010 16:39 GMT+01:00

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In its study findings, the Swedish National Institute of Public Health (Folkhälsoinstitutet) shows that high unemployment, a sense of exclusion, powerlessness and discrimination all contributed to the relatively poor health of Sweden's minority populations.

Sweden's 20,000 strong Romany population reported problems with high alcohol consumption, primarily among men and young people. They also viewed gambling and pill addictions, as well as drug abuse, as growing problems. Romany women meanwhile said they were under a lot of stress, mainly as a result of high levels of work carried out in the home.

The country's indigenous Sami population displays similar health conditions to the wider population in terms of life expectancy. But there are significant differences between the 2,500 reindeer herding Sami and their 20,000 non-reindeer herding counterparts, with the former running an increased risk of workplace accidents and suicide.

Sweden Finns, a group made up of some 450,000 first- and second-generation Finns living in Sweden, are in worse physical condition than the majority population, while psychological problems are more common among men in this group than in the population at large. Sweden Finns are also heavier smokers and financially less well off than the rest of the population.

Tornedalians are in slightly worse physical health than the population as a whole. The 50,000 Torne Valley natives who speak the Meänkieli dialect are also less physically active, less involved in social affairs and more financially vulnerable than the majority population.

Jews on the other hand are in better physical, mental and financial shape than the population at large. The country's 25,000 Jews also showed a higher level of social participation than the wider population. Male Jews did however report levels of discrimination that were above the norm.

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The public health agency said it would now continue working with organizations representing national minorities, and would help them to draft proposals geared towards improving their health situation before filing a full final report.

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.com)

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Your comments about this article

21:42 January 18, 2010 by Göran Eklund
OK then, I feel bad about this and ask everybody concerned for their forgiveness. Apparantly not the Jews.
03:32 January 19, 2010 by Davey-jo
They got Jews to say they feel OK? Oi vay something is wrong here.
06:00 January 19, 2010 by ajs42548
Davey-- Very funny. Maybe they were converts to Judaism.
10:22 January 19, 2010 by spongepaddy
Nothing about the Irish, I see. Typical, we always get ignored and excluded and forced to drink Swedish tea and dodgy Guinness. Maybe I should lodge a complaint.
13:04 January 19, 2010 by Buccaneer
"In its study findings, the Swedish National Institute of Public Health (Folkhälsoinstitutet) shows that high unemployment, a sense of exclusion, powerlessness and discrimination all contributed to the relatively poor health of Sweden's minority populations"

This is no news, if you have lived in Sweden you would know that discrimination is a common practice in Sweden. Sweden only looks like a normal society from outside, but when you live here you come to see the society for what it is. A society of people who smile at you but they wish you would just go away. So they discriminate to make you feel unwelcomed or like an outsider. I think the Germans are better cos they have the BALLs to actually tell you how they feel.

Talking of having the BALLs, it looks like Swedes only have the BALLs to express their feelings when they talk about Jews. The comments before mine proves this point. You guys will never get over your feelings for the Jews. Just know that there are lots of Swedes living in other people's country like the US and so on. They are given the opportunity to live their lives with little or no discrimination.

So if you must remain the way you have been from time, please have the BALLs to let people know how you feel about them and not smile in their face while you hearts are .......

You can fill the blanks.
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