Health Conditions of Recyclable Waste Pickers
Title of Journal:
Journal of Community Health
Auler, F, AT Nakashima and RK Cuman.
Abstract: The presence of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among vulnerable populations is a rarely discussed subject. Thus, the present cross-sectional descriptive study aimed to analyse the health conditions and access to public health services of 268 waste pickers in southern Brazil. Regarding NCDs, their prevalence of hypertension was 32.8 %, diabetes 11.4 %, dyslipidemia 16.4 %, overweight 51.1 %, obesity 25.7 % and abdominal obesity 57.8 %. Regarding access to health services, 36.9 % of the sample had not consulted with a doctor in more than 1 year, 15.7 % had no access to a healthcare unit, 7.5 % had never measured their blood pressure, 45.9 % had never had a glucose test, and 61.2 % had never had a triglyceride test. The statistical analysis showed that whereas men had gone longer since their last medical consultation and blood pressure measurement, women had increased frequencies of overweight, abdominal obesity, awareness of their hypertension and use of anti-hypertensive drugs (p < 0.05). Therefore, the health profile of waste pickers is critical, with a high prevalence of NCDs and poor healthcare usage. Strategies to improve monitoring and treatment are recommended.
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