Reindeer Herding Sami in Sweden Suffer Depression, Anxiety

August 24, 2010 • Philip BurgessReindeer Herders

A recent study published in the International Journal for Circumpolar Health concluded that reindeer herding Sami in Sweden, most particularly men, were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety than others.  Entitled “Depression and anxiety in the reindeer-herding Sami population of Sweden” , the objectives were to investigate symptoms and predicting factors of depression and anxiety among reindeer-herding Sami in Sweden and a  total of 319 reindeer-herding Sami (168 men, 151 women) were compared with urban and rural reference populations comprising 1,393 persons (662 men, 731 women).

The Sami population disclosed higher mean values for both depression and anxiety than the reference groups, with Sami men reporting the highest rates. Work-related stress was associated with anxiety and depression in the Sami group and the study concluded that by comparing Sami men and women with reference groups of men and women living in urban and rural areas in northern Sweden, this study identified that reindeer-herding Sami men require special attention with regard to mental health problems.

(Int J Circumpolar Health, Published online 18.08.2010)

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