The health profile and chronic diseases comorbidities of US-bound Iraqi refugees screened by the International Organization for Migration in Jordan: 2007-2009

J Immigr Minor Health. 2013 Feb;15(1):1-9. doi: 10.1007/s10903-012-9578-6.


More than 63,000 Iraqi refugees were resettled in the United States from 1994 to 2010. We analyzed data for all US-bound Iraqi refugees screened in International Organization for Migration clinics in Jordan during June 2007-September 2009 (n = 18,990), to describe their health profile before arrival in the United States. Of 14,077 US-bound Iraqi refugees ≥ 15 years of age, one had active TB, 251 had latent TB infection, and 14 had syphilis. No HIV infections were reported. Chronic diseases comorbidities accounted for a large burden of disease in this population: 35% (n = 4,105) of screened Iraqi refugees had at least one of three chronic medical conditions; hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or obesity. State health departments and clinicians who screen refugees need to be aware of the high prevalence of chronic diseases among Iraqi refugees resettled in the United States. These results will help public health specialists develop policies to reduce morbidity and mortality among US-bound Iraqi refugees.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Iraq / ethnology
  • Jordan
  • Latent Tuberculosis / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Refugees / statistics & numerical data*
  • Syphilis / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult