Prevalence of low back pain in migrant construction workers in Mar del Plata, Argentina

Nestor Machado, Leonardo Briceno Ayala, Katja Radon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: We aimed to compare employment conditions, psychosocial working conditions, and prevalence of low back pain among migrant and local construction workers in Argentina.Methods: In a cross‐sectional study among workers from three contracting and eight subcontracting companies as well as 26 construction sites in the region of Buenos Aires, Argentina, 134 out of 150 local (89% response) and 141 out of 150 migrant construction workers (94% response) answered a validated questionnaire. Psychosocial working conditions were evaluated based on an imbalance between efforts and rewards (ERI).Results: Compared to local workers, migrants were younger, more likely to work without a contract (57% vs 8%), to report ERI (81% vs 18%) and to suffer from low back pain during the 7‐days before study (80% vs 42%) (all P < .0001). After mutual adjustment, being a migrant (prevalence ratio 2.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4‐3.0) and working without a contract (1.7; 95% CI, 1.4‐2.1) were statistically significant risk factors for low back pain.ConclusionsThis study describes the precarious situation of migrant workers in the Argentinian construction industry and the potential health consequences. Provision of formal employment relations might help to better protect migrant workers’ safety and health. Prospective studies are needed to assess the causes and effects of the findings we describe.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777
Number of pages782
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume62
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2019

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