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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Multimorbidity and mortality thereof, among non-western refugees and family reunification immigrants in Denmark - a register based cohort study

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BACKGROUND: The prevalence of multimorbidity, defined by having two or more chronic diseases, is increasing in many Western countries. Simultaneously, the migrant population in Western countries has increased, making up a growing proportion of European populations. This study aims i) to determine the quantity and quality of multimorbidity patterns among refugees and family reunification immigrants from non-Western countries compared to Danish-born, and ii) to compare the mortality burden among those with multimorbidity in the two groups.

METHODS: Through the Danish Immigration Service, we conducted a historically prospective cohort study. We identified a total of 101,894 adult migrants who were sub-categorised into refugees and family reunification immigrants, and matched them to a Danish-born comparison group 1:6 on age and sex. Through the Danish National Patient Registry, we obtained information on all in- and outpatient data on hospitalised and ambulatory patients. To assess multimorbidity we used Charlson Comorbidity Index based on ICD-10 codes, together with ICD-10 diagnostic categories for psychiatric disease. We used Cox regression analysis to calculate risk of multimorbidity and risk of mortality in people with multimorbidity.

RESULTS: Overall refugees had higher risk of multimorbidity compared to Danish-born, while family reunification immigrants had a lower risk. When adjusting for civil status and mean income, the risk was lower for all migrant groups compared to Danish-born. Risk of mortality in people with multimorbidity, was lower for all migrant groups, compared to Danish-born.

CONCLUSION: Refugees are an at-risk group for multimorbidity, however, mortality among those with multimorbidity is lower in all migrant groups compared to Danish-born.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume18
Issue number844
ISSN1471-2458
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

ID: 54881423