Objectives: To examine patterns of disease and injury in people living on boats in Hue City, Vietnam, and their relations to socioeconomic conditions, sanitary practices, disease prevention proficiency, and people’s preference to continued living on boats.
Methods: The subjects were 3737 people aged 5 years and over living on boats in Hue City, Vietnam. Diseases and injuries were diagnosed according to ICD-10. The associations between disease/injury and socioeconomic conditions, sanitary practices, disease prevention proficiency, and preference to continued living on boats were analysed by logistic regression.
Main results: The prevalence rates of certain infectious and parasitic diseases, diseases of the respiratory system, diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, diseases of the digestive system, and injuries were 85.3%, 78.0%, 51.2%, 15.4%, and 13.2%, respectively. Various associations were seen between diseases/injuries and socioeconomic conditions. Patterns of disease were strongly influenced by sanitary practices. Better disease prevention proficiency was significantly related to lower prevalence of the first three categories of diseases/injuries regardless of sex, age, or socioeconomic status (p<0.05, p<0.001, p<0.001, respectively). Diseases were more prevalent among people who preferred not to continue living on boats.
Conclusions: This large scale comprehensive field study illustrated major diseases and injuries among people living on boats. Variations in health status showed a web-like relation of socioeconomic conditions, sanitary practices, disease prevention proficiency, and preference to continued living on boats. Measures to develop disease prevention proficiency reduce the risk of disease and injury.
- disease pattern
- determinants of health
- disease prevention proficiency
- household survey
- life on the river
- Huong River
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Funding: this study was partly supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Study by Japan Society for Promotion of Science.
Conflicts of interests: none.
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