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Can J Public Health. 2008 Nov-Dec;99(6):499-504.

[Current pathologies among asylum seekers in Montreal: prevalence and associated risk factors].

[Article in French]

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Service de santé du PRAIDA, Centre de Recherche et Formation, Centre de santé et de services sociaux de la Montagne, Centre affilié universitaire, Université McGill, Montreal, QC.



Canada received 22,873 asylum seekers in 2006. The screening of specific health problems in this population seems warranted. This study aims to estimate the prevalence of pathologies that were screened at the PRAIDA health service in Montreal, and to identify associations with certain risk factors.


A retrospective study was conducted on the files of patients who were screened between 2000 and 2004. Demographic and clinical information was compiled for computation of prevalence as well as multiple logistic regression analysis.


Of the 289 files reviewed, 56.7% are for male and 43.3% for female patients, with a mean age of 34 years; 53% are Asians and 38% Africans. 59.4% of subjects received a psychiatric diagnosis (mainly depression and post-traumatic stress disorder). The paraclinical work-up showed: 20.3% anaemia, 9% eosinophilia, 29.7% HBcAb+, 5% HBsAg+, 1.5% hepatitis C (RNA+), 2.5% HIV+ and 45.9% TST+. 10.5% of stool samples contained a pathogen, and serologies for strongyloidiasis and schistosomiasis were positive in 17.3% and 3.9% of samples respectively. Significant associations included female gender with anaemia, African origin with rates of HBcAb and TST+, age with HBcAb and hepatitis C positivity, longer length of stay in Canada with eosinophilia and strongyloidiasis, shorter length of stay with HBcAb, and Asian origin with psychiatric disorders.


This study suggests that the prevalence of screened pathologies as part of the PRAIDA health service work-up are high in this population and therefore warrant continuation of their screening until guidelines are constituted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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