207252 Health assessment of the Arab American community in southwest Brooklyn

Monday, November 9, 2009: 4:30 PM

Kell N. Julliard, MA , Clinical Research Office, Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Linda Sarsour , Arab American Association of New York, Brooklyn, NY
Virginia Tong , Cultural Competence, Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Omar Jaber , Clinical Research Office, Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Mohammed Talbi , External Affairs, Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Data on Arab American health is lacking nationwide. Like other immigrants, Arab Americans' ability to receive appropriate healthcare may be affected by culture, language, socioeconomic factors, and insurance status. The goal of this survey was to gather demographic information about the Arab American community in Brooklyn and assess perceptions of health status, needs, behaviors, and access to services. In spring 2008, male and female English/Arabic bilingual surveyors, both Christian and Muslim, ranging in age from 16 to 55 years administered a structured survey to community members in public gathering places throughout southwest Brooklyn. Participants were given a small gift. Of 353 surveyed, 43% were men and 57% women, most spoke Arabic and were Muslim, and most had moved to the U.S. after 1990. One third did not complete high school. Women and men were on par in education, but only 8% of those employed full time were female. A quarter was unemployed. Over 50% reported household incomes below federal poverty level. Nearly 30% had no health insurance. 58% reported choosing their health care venue based on language considerations. 43% reported problems in getting health care, including ability to pay, language barriers, and immigration. 42% of men reported current smoking, and 8% of women. Almost half of respondents never exercised. Rates of poverty, lack of health insurance, and smoking in men are cause for concern and were high even for immigrant groups. Type and usage of tobacco products among Arab Americans is not well documented nor well understood by researchers.

Learning Objectives:
Describe how health issues and disparities for the Arab American community in southwest Brooklyn compare and contrast with those of other immigrant communities. Identify how tobacco use in the Arab American community differs from that of other minorities. Explain how researchers can assess Arab American tobacco use in meaningful ways.

Keywords: Ethnic Minorities, Survey

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I assisted with survey design, training of interviewers, data analysis, and writing of paper.
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.