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Occupational health epidemiology in the Nordic countries – status and trends

Author(s): Maria Albin | Kristina Jakobsson

Journal: SJWEH Supplements
ISSN 1795-9926

Issue: 7;
Start page: 41;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: status | Nordic countries | occupational health epidemiology | epidemiology | population | discussion paper | occupational health | globalization | funding | disease mechanism | cohort-effect | bibliometry | ageing population | trend

This overview aims to give an indication of the current status and trends in occupational health epidemiology in the Nordic countries. As indicated by recent biometric reviews, Nordic countries currently rank among the top five globally in terms of research output on the work environment. However, birth-cohort effects and rapid change in institutions and funding may seriously jeopardize this position. As a result, training a new generation of excellent researchers will be a major task for the next decade and require changes in funding structures. With respect to research topics, the ageing population in the Nordic countries will make preservation of work ability a major issue to explore from a multidisciplinary perspective. Moreover, the growing migration of labor, goods, and capital across borders is likely to increase the number of workers involved in dangerous work and unprotected by minimal occupational safety measures. Consequently, there is a need to research the efficiency of the present occupational safety structures under these new conditions. Research on occupational health services remains remarkably scant. The increase of mental ill-health, especially among young women, and the related interaction between structural societal change and the work environment are important challenges. New suggested disease mechanisms (eg, epigenetic change, oxidative stress, and intrauterine priming of sensitivity to postnatal exposure) are also important applied research areas for occupational epidemiology.
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