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Am J Public Health. 2016 Jan;106(1):128-35. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302873. Epub 2015 Nov 12.

Health Profiles of Newly Arrived Refugee Children in the United States, 2006-2012.

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Katherine Yun is with PolicyLab, Division of General Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. Jasmine Matheson is with Refugee Health Program, Washington State Department of Health, Shoreline. Colleen Payton and Kevin C. Scott are with Family and Community Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia. Barbara L. Stone is with Refugee Health Program, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver. Lihai Song is with Healthcare Analytics Unit, Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness, and Policylab, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Kailey Urban and Blain Mamo are with Refugee Health Program, Minnesota Department of Health, Saint Paul. Janine Young is with General Pediatrics, Denver Health and Hospitals, Denver, CO. William M. Stauffer is with Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.



We conducted a large-scale study of newly arrived refugee children in the United States with data from 2006 to 2012 domestic medical examinations in 4 sites: Colorado; Minnesota; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Washington State.


Blood lead level, anemia, hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, tuberculosis infection or disease, and Strongyloides seropositivity data were available for 8148 refugee children (aged < 19 years) from Bhutan, Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Somalia.


We identified distinct health profiles for each country of origin, as well as for Burmese children who arrived in the United States from Thailand compared with Burmese children who arrived from Malaysia. Hepatitis B was more prevalent among male children than female children and among children aged 5 years and older. The odds of HBV, tuberculosis, and Strongyloides decreased over the study period.


Medical screening remains an important part of health care for newly arrived refugee children in the United States, and disease risk varies by population.

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