Are subjective health complaints a result of modern civilization?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Subjective health complaints without or with minimal somatic findings (pain, fatigue) are common and frequent reasons for encounter with the general practitioner and for long-term sickness leave and disability. The complaints are often attributed to the stressors of modern life. Is this true? We interviewed 120 Aborigine Mangyans (native population, M age = 33.5 years, 72.5% women) living under primitive conditions in the jungle of Mindoro, an island in the Philippines, and 101 persons living in a small coastal town on the same island (coastal population, M age = 33.8 years, 60.4% women). Both groups had more musculoskeletal complaints, fatigue, mood changes, and gastrointestinal complaints than a representative sample from the Norwegian population (N = 1,243). Our common subjective health complaints, therefore, are not specific for industrialized societies.
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