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

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


Objectives: 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.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

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

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Africa South of the Sahara / ethnology
  • Asia / ethnology
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mass Screening / standards*
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Refugees / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States