Table 4

Prevalence (%) of subjective health complaints expressed as psychosomatic symptoms, headache and upper infection symptoms and musculoskeletal pain symptoms in the last six months in girls and boys
Subjective health complaint indexes Girls (%) Boys (%) P-value
Never/ seldom Sometimes Fairly often/very often Never/ seldom Sometimes Fairly often/very often
Psychosomatic symptoms variables ª
More tired than before 25.1 36.1 38.8 47.7 31.9 20.3 0.000
Sadness 28.9 36.1 35.0 67.8 24.1 8.2 0.000
Acid stomach, stomach ache 60.2 25.0 14.8 86.2 10.9 3.0 0.000
Pain and aches in heart and chest 73.6 16.2 10.1 80.6 13.4 5.9 0.019
Palpitations and extra heart beats 79.9 13.7 6.4 87.6 8.7 3.7 0.000
Headache and upper respiratory infection symptoms variables ª
Headache 34.2 32.6 33.2 61.4 27.5 11.1 0.000
Cold symptoms 38.3 36.5 25.2 58.9 27.7 13.4 0.000
Cough and hoarseness 61.9 26.5 11.6 75.5 18.6 5.9 0.000
Nausea 58.3 26.2 15.6 86.8 10.4 2.7 0.000
Musculoskeletal pain symptoms variablesª
Neck and shoulder pain 40.1 25.4 34.5 67.5 21.4 10.9 0.000
Low back pain 52.3 23.5 24.2 68.2 16.8 15.0 0.000
Pain in extremity joints 65.0 22.3 12.7 71.5 18.6 9.9 0.079
Muscle pain 64.4 25.6 10.0 71.0 20.5 8.4 0.05
General self-rated healthb
Overall good health 79.5 87.8 0.000
Medicationb
Antidepressants or sedatives (yes) 4.7 3.5 0.3
Non-prescription painkillers, every week 17.9 7.2 0.000

Response alternatives were “never/seldom”, “sometimes”, and “fairly often/very often” (Chi2 test with p-values for between group differences).

ªSubjective health complaint indexes included variables yielded from factor analysis (see Table 1). bGeneral self-rated health and medication not included in the factor analysis.

Wiklund et al.

Wiklund et al. BMC Public Health 2012 12:993   doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-993

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