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Hvidovre Hospital - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Health status of refugees newly resettled in Denmark

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INTRODUCTION: The municipality of Copenhagen offers general health assessment (GHA) to all newly resettled refugees, conducted at the Section of Immigrant Medicine, Hvidovre Hospital. This study described their disease burden and sociodemographic characteristics.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, all adult individuals assessed from 1 January 2017 to 30 January 2019 were included. Doctors performed the GHA, including a structured questionnaire, clinical examination and blood testing.

RESULTS: In total, 160 refugees were included. Few suffered from communicable diseases (e.g., 1% hepatitis B virus) or other somatic diseases (4% diabetes Type 2). However, deficiencies such as vitamin D deficiency (76%), vitamin B12 deficiency (31%) and anaemia (12%) were frequent. The majority reported headache (54%) or other pain (53%). Furthermore, signs of post-traumatic stress disorder were frequent (33%) and significantly associated with experience of torture, prison and persecution.

CONCLUSIONS: The population presented with pertinent health issues such as vitamin deficiencies, mental health issues and symptoms of pain. Few suffered from non-communicable or communicable diseases. Our results suggest that an offer of specialised services at municipality level for all newly resettled refugees may be beneficial. Furthermore, the study underlines the need for more research within the field of refugee health.

FUNDING: None.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Ethical approval was obtained from the Capital Region of Denmark and the Danish Patient Safety Authority.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Volume67
Issue number12
ISSN1603-9629
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2020

ID: 61507935