PLoS Medicine
Public Library of Science
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Health profile of adult special immigrant visa holders arriving from Iraq and Afghanistan to the United States, 2009–2017: A cross-sectional analysis
Volume: 17, Issue: 5
DOI 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003118
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Abstract

Why was this analysis done?Between 2,000 and 19,000 Special Immigrant Visa holders (SIVH) from Iraq and Afghanistan have resettled in the United States annually since 2008.Per the Immigration and Nationality Act, SIVH, like other immigrants and refugees, must be examined by a physician before arriving in the US. Results of these overseas examinations are transmitted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to US state and local health departments via CDC’s Electronic Disease Notification system (EDN).Increasing provider knowledge about the health conditions most commonly encountered in SIVH as well as any differences in health conditions between SIVH from Iraq and Afghanistan may facilitate diagnostic screening, examination, and referrals to additional healthcare providers in the US.Information about the health of SIV populations is limited and would be beneficial for US clinicians who see SIVH in their clinics.What did the researchers do and find?In this cross-sectional analysis, we analyzed overseas medical exam data in CDC’s EDN for 19,167 SIV Iraqi and Afghan adults who resettled to the United States from April 2009 through December 2017.Among all SIVH, 56.5% were overweight or had obesity, 2.4% reported hypertension, 1.1% reported diabetes, and 19.4% reported current or previous tobacco use.In general, Iraqi SIVH were more likely to have obesity, diabetes, and be current or former smokers than Afghan SIVH.What do these findings mean?State public health agencies and clinicians screening SIVH should consider screening for diabetes among those with risk factors and prompt referral and management of obesity, hypertension, and smoking.Behavioral risk factor counseling and referral to culturally appropriate chronic disease prevention programs can be initiated at screening visits and subsequently reemphasized with primary care providers and other healthcare professionals.Limitations include the inability to obtain all SIVH records, self-reported medical history of NCDs, and underdiagnosis of NCDs such as hypertension and diabetes because formal laboratory testing for NCDs is not used during overseas medical exams.

https://www.researchpad.co/tools/openurl?pubtype=article&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003118&title=Health profile of adult special immigrant visa holders arriving from Iraq and Afghanistan to the United States, 2009–2017: A cross-sectional analysis&author=Gayathri S. Kumar,Simone S. Wien,Christina R. Phares,Walid Slim,Heather M. Burke,Emily S. Jentes,Paul B. Spiegel,&keyword=&subject=Research Article,Biology and Life Sciences,Microbiology,Medical Microbiology,Microbial Pathogens,Viral Pathogens,Immunodeficiency Viruses,SIV,Medicine and Health Sciences,Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,Pathogens,Microbial Pathogens,Viral Pathogens,Immunodeficiency Viruses,SIV,Biology and Life Sciences,Organisms,Viruses,Viral Pathogens,Immunodeficiency Viruses,SIV,Biology and Life Sciences,Organisms,Viruses,Immunodeficiency Viruses,SIV,Biology and life sciences,Organisms,Viruses,RNA viruses,Retroviruses,Lentivirus,SIV,Biology and Life Sciences,Microbiology,Medical Microbiology,Microbial Pathogens,Viral Pathogens,Retroviruses,Lentivirus,SIV,Medicine and Health Sciences,Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,Pathogens,Microbial Pathogens,Viral Pathogens,Retroviruses,Lentivirus,SIV,Biology and Life Sciences,Organisms,Viruses,Viral Pathogens,Retroviruses,Lentivirus,SIV,Medicine and Health Sciences,Infectious Diseases,Bacterial Diseases,Tuberculosis,Medicine and Health Sciences,Tropical Diseases,Tuberculosis,Medicine and Health Sciences,Endocrinology,Endocrine Disorders,Diabetes Mellitus,Medicine and Health Sciences,Metabolic Disorders,Diabetes Mellitus,People and places,Geographical locations,North America,United States,Biology and Life Sciences,Physiology,Physiological Parameters,Body Weight,Obesity,Medicine and Health Sciences,Physiology,Physiological Parameters,Body Weight,Obesity,Medicine and Health Sciences,Vascular Medicine,Blood Pressure,Hypertension,Medicine and Health Sciences,Public and Occupational Health,Health Screening,Medicine and Health Sciences,Health Care,Health Care Policy,Screening Guidelines,