Health profile and disease determinants among asylum seekers: a cross-sectional retrospective study from an Italian reception centre

Gianluca Russo, Serena Vita, Alessandro Miglietta, Nadia Terrazzini, Alessandra Sannella, Vincenzo Vullo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Data on diseases' determinants and health status of asylum seekers (ASs) are limited. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional retrospective study in a large ASs centre in Italy. Data were collected during a 1-year period. Descriptive statistics were calculated. A χ2 test was used to assess the association between socio-demographics characteristics of ASs and screening test results. A multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to identify diseases' predictors by using ICD-10 diagnoses classification as outcome variable, socio-demographic characteristics as independent variable and visits' number as confounding variable. RESULTS: Overall, data on 792 ASs (mean age 27 years, 80% males, 58% from Africa) were assessed, 43% underwent voluntary infectious diseases screening and 2843 diagnoses were recorded. The most frequent diagnoses were: respiratory diseases, symptoms/signs not elsewhere classified, digestive diseases and infectious diseases. Gender was the most frequent predictor of ICD-10 diagnoses, while African origin, civil status and education were, respectively, predictive of cardiovascular and infectious diseases, genitourinary diseases and pregnancy-related disorders. Higher mean age was associated with syphilis, HIV and HCV infection and African origin with HIV infection. CONCLUSIONS: Communicable diseases were not prevalent in the ASs population we analysed. A stronger cultural mediation support is needed to facilitate prevention, access and continuity of care for ASs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-222
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Public Health
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2015

Keywords

  • asylum seekers
  • healthcare
  • migration
  • infectious diseases screening

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