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How Healthy Is the Singaporean Worker? Results From the Singapore National Health Survey 2010

Lim, Raymond Boon Tar MBBS, MPH; Ma, Stefan MSc, PhD; Fong, Chee Weng MSc; Chua, Lily MSc; Chia, Kee Seng MBBS, MSc(OM), MD; Heng, Derrick MBBS, MSc; Lim, Wei Yen MBBS, MPH, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 5 - p 498–509
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000131
Original Articles

Objective: To compare the prevalence of common medical conditions (including mental health and self-rated health) and lifestyle risk factors for disease of the Singapore workforce with the nonworking population, and evaluate the association of these factors with occupation class.

Methods: Data were obtained from a population-representative cross-sectional survey in 2010. Adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) were obtained by modified Breslow-Cox proportional hazards regression model.

Results: Within the workforce, after adjustment for age, sex, and ethnicity, daily smoking (PR = 1.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.40 to 2.51; P < 0.001), no regular exercise (PR = 1.13; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.20; P < 0.001), and poor self-rated health (PR = 1.46, 95% CI, 1.22 to 1.76; P < 0.001) were more prevalent in the lower-skilled occupation classes.

Conclusions: Lower-skilled occupation classes in Singapore are associated with lifestyle risk factors, and tailored workplace health promotion programs addressing their specific health needs are needed.

From the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (Drs Lim, Chia, and Lim), National University of Singapore; and Public Health Group (Drs Ma and Heng, Mr Fong, and Ms Chua), Ministry of Health Singapore.

Address correspondence to Raymond Boon Tar Lim, MBBS, MPH, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, MD3, 16 Medical Dr, Singapore 117597 (

The National Health Survey is part of the Ministry of Health's ongoing surveillance of the health status of Singaporeans.

The authors declared no competing interests.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine