WHO Europe migration and health outlines the key issues faced by new migrants. It points out there is no systematic association between migration and communicable diseases, but that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) often worsen.
The following information is taken from their advice, linked below.
The main NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic lung diseases. The prevalence of NCDs such as diabetes and hypertension in adults in certain low- and middle-income countries is as high as 25–35%.
Due to the conditions of their travel, refugees and migrants can be more susceptible to complications. The impact of psychosocial factors, including stress, as well as alcohol and tobacco use impact NCDs.
In addition, NCDs:
In DOTW UK clinic, half of our patients had a long-term, chronic condition. The most frequently recorded health conditions were musculoskeletal (15%), followed by digestive (13%), psychological (12%) and circulatory (11%) (DOTW 2016).
These findings are supported by the Europe-wide MdM data published in the Observatory Report. The highest proportion of chronic pathologies were cardiovascular (19.9%; 1,945/9,774), followed by from musculoskeletal (13.2%; 1,293/9,774), from digestive (12.2%; 1,191/9,774), from endocrine, metabolic and nutritional (11.6%; 1,133/9,774), and from psychological (10.0%; 975/9,774). The report 'Falling Through the Cracks' is linked below.
The conditions of migration, along with the conditions once arrived in the UK, can impact on NCDs. Children and elderly are the most at risk.
Complications can results from:
NCDs need to be detected early, and managed according to guidance. Ensuring screening for NCDs is included in health checks can help with this, as well as encouraging access to healthcare.
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