Translation of summary of danish prostitution study (Sundhed, sygelighed og trivsel blandt klinikprostituerede)

The report is in danish, but english speaking people might wanna know about the contents. See also:

The report is here:

Below is my translation of the summary pages (pp. 4-6).

Summary and conclusion

The purpose with the study is to describe the prevalence and distribution of health, illness, and well-being among danish clinic prostitutes [who work in a borthel] and to compare them with a group of danish women based on data from Sundheds- og sygelighedsundersøgelsen 2010 (SUSY-2010) (1) [The health and illness study 2010]. The study is completed as a collaboration between Statens Institut for Folkesundhed [The State’s Institute for people’s health], Syddansk Universitet [University of southern Denmark] og Anders Arnfred.


The study is based on self-administered questionnaries handed out on nine of the largest sex clinics in Copenhagen in 2010. Only ethnic danish clinic prostitutes age 20-49 are included. In total 88 clinic prostitutes have answered the questionnary. In the report the clinic prostitutes are compared with a group of 3,225 danish women age 20-49, who took tark in the nationally reprensentative SUSY-2010.


The main results in each area are presented in the following paragrafs. Under each subject, light is cast over a number of indicators. For instance, the report’s first subject “Health and well-being” and under that area the experience of stress is used as an indicator for the overall subject “Health and well-being”.


Health and well-being

The prostitutes general health and well-being is in some areas different from danish women’s. The percentage with bad mental health and the percentage who often or very often feel nervous or stressed is smaller among prostitutes. No significant differences were seen between prostitutes and danish women with respect to self-judged health, fysical health and stress level.



Overall there is no difference between prostitutes and danish women’s rate of illness. This is true for the percentage with a long-term illness and with respect to a number of specific illnesses and conditions. However the percentage who has been very bothered by pains and discomfort in the last 14 days, the percetage with migraine or common headaches, as well as the percentage with high blood pressure is smaller among prostitutes.


Contact to own doctor and use of medicine

There is no significant difference in how often prostitutes visit their own doctor. However, there is a difference with respect to use of prescription and over the counter medicine. In both cases the prostitutes have a markedly lower consumption.


Health behavior, overweight and underweight

Overall the prostitutes have more undesirable health behavior when it comes to smoking, alcohol use and use of other drugs. The percentage of prostitutes who are daily smokers and heavy smokers, who are exposed to passive smoking (among non-daily smokers), use consume more alcohol than the recommandation from Sundhedsstyrelsen [Danish Health and Medicines Authority], who often (every month) drink more than five units on the same occasion [danish measure for alcohol, a unit is 1.518 cl pure ethanol, which is the same as the content of a normal 4.6% 33cl beer], and who has used a number of different drugs in the last year (cannabis, amfetamine, ecstasy, cocain, LSD, mushrooms and other drugs) is markedly higher. Furthermore, the percetage who wants to stop smoking (among daily smokers) is markedly smaller among prostitutes. There is generally no difference between prostitutes and danish women with respect to diet and fysical acitivity. However there is a larger percentage who eat fish weekly in the prostitute group. Finally, there is a larger percentage who are underweight, and a smaller percentage who are overweight and fat in the prostitute group.


Social relations

Prostitutes have good social relations, both when it comes to the frequency of contant to family and friends (the structural dimension of social relationships) as well as the access to support (the functional dimension). The prostitutes social relations are not different on either dimension. The prostitutes have the same frequency of contact to family and friends, and they have someone to talk to if they have problems or need support. The prostitutes do not feel lonely more often either.


Violence and sexual abuse

Light violence against prostutes is more common (being pushed, pulled, shaked, hit with flat hand or similar). Prostitutes are not different with respect to the other indicators of violence and sexual abuise (threats of violence, rough fysical violence, rape and other sexual abuses).


Working environment

Prostitutes have a different working environment. They are worse off with respect to two indicators for fysical working environment: to often work in bended or crooked positions as well as working in repeated and monotonous movements. On the other hand, they have a better fysical working environment when it comes to carrying heavy objects and being exposed to loud noise, coldness and draft. With respect to psychological working environment, the prostitutes come out ahead as well. The percentage of those who always or often do not compelte all work duties is smaller among the prostitutes. The prostitutes also report having more influence over their work.



The health, illness and well-being is not unequivocally better or worse than other women. The prostitutes come out ahead on some parameters. This is with with the percentage with bad mental health, the percentage who often or very often feel stressesd, the percentage with very annoying pains and discomfort, the percentage with migraine or common headaches, the percentage with high blood pressure, as well as the percentage of overweight and obese is smaller among prostitutes. Also the percentage who has used prescription and over the counter medicine is lower. Finally, the prostitutes have a better psychological working environment and also a beetter fysical working environment when it comes to carrying heavy objects, loud noises, coldness and draft.


The prostitutes compare negatively on some areas. This is true for health behavior where prostitutes have less appropriate behavior when it comes to smoking, alcohol use and use of other, illegal drugs. From a health perspective it is also worth noting that the percentage of daily smokers who want to quit is smaller. The percentage of non-daily smokers is markedly larger among prostitutes. Furthermore a larger percentage of prostitutes have been targets of light violence. Compared with other women they have a worse fysical working environment when it comes to bended or crooked working positions as well as working in repetitative and monotonous movements.


On a number of parameters there are no differences between the two groups. For instance, for self-judged health, fysical health, stress level, long-term illness, a number of specific illnesses and conditions, contact to own doctor, fysical activity level, most indicators of diet, social relations as well as sexual abuse.