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Open AccessArticle

Migration, Work, and Health: Lessons Learned from a Clinical Case Series in a Northern Italy Public Hospital

1
Department of Diagnostics and Public Health, Section of Occupational Health, University of Verona, 37134 Verona, Italy
2
University Research Center “Integrated Models for Prevention and Protection in Environmental and Occupational Health”, Universities of Verona, Brescia and Milano Bicocca, 37134 Verona, Italy
3
Postgraduate School of Occupational Medicine, University of Verona, 37134 Verona, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3007; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173007
Received: 24 June 2019 / Revised: 5 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 21 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration, Work and Health)
Background: Migrant workers (MWs) generally perform dangerous jobs and have reduced access to occupational health (OH) care, therefore being prone to developing occupational diseases (OD). The aim of the work is to describe a case series of MWs and report on related outcomes for OH professionals. Methods: A case series of 724 MWs, sent from January 2001 to June 2013 to a public OH unit for OD or fitness-for-work (FFW) evaluation, was entered in a dedicated database and elaborated for descriptive statistics with Microsoft Excel. Results: MWs were mostly (75%) men, with a mean age of 40. They came mainly from Morocco, Senegal, Albania, Romania, and Pakistan. Main sectors of employment were manufacturing, metal industry, services, construction. OD were found in 210 cases, main diagnoses being: Lumbar disc and upper limb musculoskeletal disorders (51%), contact dermatitis (15%), allergic asthma (8%), noise-induced hearing loss (7%), tumors (3%), psychiatric disorders (2%). Moreover, 136 FFW judgements were formulated, with some limitations/restrictions expressed. Finally, a relevant prevalence of some chronic non-occupational diseases was found. Conclusions: MWs in Italy may suffer from OH inequalities. Qualified public OH professionals and occupational physicians in workplaces should have a proactive role to concretely meet MWs’ health needs. View Full-Text
Keywords: migrant workers; occupational diseases; health surveillance; fitness for work; clinical case series; occupational health services; Italy migrant workers; occupational diseases; health surveillance; fitness for work; clinical case series; occupational health services; Italy
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Arici, C.; Tamhid, T.; Porru, S. Migration, Work, and Health: Lessons Learned from a Clinical Case Series in a Northern Italy Public Hospital. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3007.

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