Mental Health Differences Among Middle-Aged Sawmill Workers in Rural Compared to Urban British Columbia

Aleck Ostry, Stefania Maggi, Ruth Hershler, Lisa Chen, Clyde Hertzman


The study sought to determine whether differences in mental health outcomes were observable in a cohort of workers living in rural compared to urban places in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The study was based on a cohort of male sawmill workers. The cohort was probabilistically linked to the BC Linked Health Database in order to yield objective mental health outcomes. A nested case control design was used. Univariate and multivariate models were constructed using conditional logistic regression. While results differed according to the particular mental health outcome, after controlling for socio-economic confounders it was found that workers who remained in or migrated to rural places tended to have better mental health outcomes than workers who remained in or migrated to urban places.

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