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Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes. 2017 Apr 28;1(1):78-90. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2017.04.001. eCollection 2017 Jul.

Pretravel Health Preparation of International Travelers: Results From the Boston Area Travel Medicine Network.

Author information

Center for Global Health and Development, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA.
Department of Global Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA.
Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.
Travel Medicine Center, Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, MA.
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.
Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA.
Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA.
Division of Infectious Diseases, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA.
Travel and Tropical Medicine Clinic, Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA.
Department of Research and Sponsored Programs, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA.
Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.
Maxwell Finland Laboratory for Infectious Diseases, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA.



To inform future interventions for advising travelers.

Patients and Methods:

We prospectively collected data on travelers seen at the Boston Area Travel Medicine Network, a Boston area research collaboration of 5 travel medicine clinics. Data from 15,440 travelers were collected from March 1, 2008, through July 31, 2010. We compared traveler and trip characteristics and differences in demographic characteristics and travel plans across the 5 clinics, including an analysis of pretravel preparations for certain high-risk destinations.


More than half of the 15,440 travelers were female (8730 [56.5]), and 72.4% (10,528 of 14,545) were white; the median age was 34 years, and 29.4% of travelers (3077 of 10,483) were seen less than 2 weeks before their departure date. Substantial variation in racial background, purpose of travel, and destination risk existed across the 5 clinics. For example, the proportion of travelers visiting friends and relatives ranged from 7.6% (184 of 2436) to 39.0% (1029 of 2639) (18.7% [2876 of 15,360] overall), and the percentage of travelers to areas with malaria risk ranged from 23.7% (333 of 1403) to 52.0% (1306 of 2512). Although most clinics were likely to have prescribed certain vaccines for high-risk destinations (eg, yellow fever for Ghana travel), there was wide variability in influenza vaccine use for China travel.


Substantial differences in clinic populations can occur within a single metropolitan area, highlighting why individual physicians and travel clinics need to understand the specific needs of the travelers they serve in addition to general travel medicine.


BATMN, Boston Area Travel Medicine Network; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; IQR, interquartile range; TD, traveler's diarrhea; VFR, visiting friends and relatives; YF, yellow fever

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