177300 Evaluating screening tests for infectious diseases among immigrants

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 1:30 PM

Ramin G. Asgary, MD, MPH, MSc , Depts of Medicine and Social and Community Medicine, Montefiore Med Ctr.; and MPH Program in Global Health, Mount Sinai Med Ctr., Albert Einstein College of Medicine and The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Sara Doorley, MD , Depts of Medicine and Family and Social Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Background: Screening strategies for immigrants and refugees are not well studied and strategies are not universally accepted or implemented. Some have suggested empirical treatments for parasitic diseases among all immigrants.

Methods: As a pilot project in our inner city clinic which provides care to many immigrants and refugees, we requested our providers to follow general recommendations for laboratory analysis in immigrants to look for chronic viral and parasitic diseases. We reviewed charts to evaluate result of laboratory analysis among 80 of recent immigrants (less than 5 years in the U.S.).

Results: Patients were mostly from central and south America and Africa. Majority was young. 46% of patients were exposed to hepatitis B with positive HBc antibody, 32 % had positive HBS antibody (immune to Hepatitis B after exposure), and one had HBS antigen positive (infecting subject). 15% had eosinophilia in their blood.

14% of patients had some forms of ova & parasite detected in their stool but only 3% had of those had eosinophilia. 7% had abnormal liver tests. 14% exposed to TB but 3 % had abnormal chest x-ray findings consistent with old TB. Of those who had HIV tests only one had a positive HIV test result.

Conclusion: Significant rate of Hepatitis B exposure may suggest evaluation for chronic infectious diseases among recent immigrants. The relationship between eosinophilia, a marker of parasitic infections, and stool ova & parasites needs further research.

Learning Objectives:
1) To recognize the rate of infectious diseases among recent immigrants 2) To describe screening laboratory analysis among immigrants

Keywords: Screening, Immigrants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have designed and performed this research. I have no financial interest in this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.