The prevalence of mental symptoms among Finnish farm entrepreneurs in 2004 and 1994 was examined in two cross-sectional studies. The aim was also to examine associations between symptoms and background factors. Two random samples for computer-assisted telephone interviews comprised 1,182 full-time farmers in 2004 and 928 farmers in 1992. A binary logistic regression model was used to analyze the associations in the 2004 sample. Symptoms of weakness or fatigue and insomnia or difficulties in falling asleep were the most common symptoms in the 2004 survey, and both of these symptoms increased statistically significantly when comparing with the 1992 and 2004 surveys. Strenuousness of life and agricultural work had an association with mental symptoms. Forestry as a production sector and over two weeks of pesticide usage during the previous growing season also elevated the risk of mental symptoms. Moreover, illness or injury as well a lack of support from social relationships was associated with mental symptoms. One in four farm entrepreneurs had symptoms of weakness or fatigue in 2004. This result and the possible association between mental symptoms and pesticide usage needs special attention and further actions by health care services and other agricultural networks.
PMID 19572488 - click here to show this article in PubMed