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Journal: Journal of immigrant and minority health / Center for Minority Public Health


Intersections between migration and sex work are underexplored in southern Africa, a region with high internal and cross-border population mobility, and HIV prevalence. Sex work often constitutes an important livelihood activity for migrant women. In 2010, sex workers trained as interviewers conducted cross-sectional surveys with 1,653 female sex workers in Johannesburg (Hillbrow and Sandton), Rustenburg and Cape Town. Most (85.3 %) sex workers were migrants (1396/1636): 39.0 % (638/1636) internal and 46.3 % (758/1636) cross-border. Cross-border migrants had higher education levels, predominately worked part-time, mainly at indoor venues, and earned more per client than other groups. They, however, had 41 % lower health service contact (adjusted odds ratio = 0.59; 95 % confidence interval = 0.40-0.86) and less frequent condom use than non-migrants. Police interaction was similar. Cross-border migrants appear more tenacious in certain aspects of sex work, but require increased health service contact. Migrant-sensitive, sex work-specific health care and health education are needed.

Concepts: Health care, Public health, Health, Africa, Human migration, South Africa, Higher education, Johannesburg


Immigration raids exemplify the reach of immigration law enforcement into the lives of Latino community members, yet little research characterizes the health effects of these raids. We examined the health implications of an immigration raid that resulted in multiple arrests and deportations and occurred midway through a community survey of a Latino population. We used linear regression following principal axis factoring to examine the influence of raid timing on immigration enforcement stress and self-rated health. We controlled for age, sex, relationship status, years in the county in which the raid occurred, children in the home, and nativity. 325 participants completed the survey before the raid and 151 after. Completing the survey after the raid was associated with higher levels of immigration enforcement stress and lower self-rated health scores. Findings indicate the negative impact of immigration raids on Latino communities. Immigration discussions should include holistic assessments of health.

Concepts: Demography, Population, United States, Immigration, Community, Illinois, Midwestern United States, Chicago


Morbidity and mortality caused by tuberculosis are increased in most of the Latin-American indigenous communities. Factors that could explain this situation are poverty and limited health services access due to social conflicts and geographical isolation. We determined the frequency of tuberculosis in Colombian indigenous communities and described their knowledge related to transmission and control. We developed a descriptive study and health survey. Interviews were performed to find ancestral knowledge about tuberculosis. Sputum samples from patients with respiratory symptoms were analyzed. 10 indigenous communities were studied, which tuberculosis incidence was 291/100,000. Communities believe that tuberculosis is a body and spirit disease, which transmission is by direct contact or by witchcraft. Tuberculosis incidence in the studied communities was ninefold higher than that of the general population from Antioquia Department. Knowledge exchange could facilitate the community empowerment and implementation of educational activities which might improve the control of the disease.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Disease, Demography, Colombia, Indigenous peoples, Antioquia Department, Medellín


Hispanics are underrepresented in medical research. At the National Lung Screening Trial’s University of Colorado Denver screening center, traditional recruitment methods resulted in enrollment of few Hispanics. In response, the center adopted culturally sensitive recruitment techniques, including use of carefully-crafted bilingual materials. Bilingual interviewers were hired, and persons familiar with culture and language of groups of different Hispanic origin were consulted. Representation of Hispanics among participants enrolled at the Colorado center increased nearly threefold, from 3.3 to 9.4 %, after adoption of these methods. In this manuscript, we report on the specialized recruitment methods that were developed and how they were used to address known barriers to Hispanic recruitment.

Concepts: Culture, California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Hispanic, University of Colorado Denver, Denver


Mexican immigrants to the U.S. are nearly three times more likely to be without health insurance than non-Hispanic native citizens. To inform strategies to increase the number of insured within this population, we elicited immigrants' understanding of health insurance and preferences for coverage. Nine focus groups with Mexican immigrants were conducted across the State of North Carolina. Qualitative, descriptive methods were used to assess people’s understanding of health insurance, identify their perceived need for health insurance, describe perceived barriers to obtaining coverage, and prioritize the components of insurance that immigrants value most. Individuals have a basic understanding of health insurance and perceive it as necessary. Participants most valued insurance that would cover emergencies, make care affordable, and protect family members. Barriers to obtaining insurance included cost, concerns about immigration status discovery, and communication issues. Strategies that address immigrants' preferences for and barriers to insurance should be considered.

Concepts: Psychology, Focus group, Understanding, United States, Cognition, Perception, Immigration, Spain


Although a robust literature describes the intergenerational effects of traumatic experiences in various populations, evidence specific to refugee families is scattered and contains wide variations in approaches for examining intergenerational trauma. Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) criteria, the purpose of this systematic review was to describe the methodologies and findings of peer-reviewed literature regarding intergenerational trauma in refugee families. In doing so we aimed to critically examine how existing literature characterizes refugee trauma, its long-term effects on descendants, and psychosocial processes of transmission in order to provide recommendations for future research. The results highlight populations upon which current evidence is based, conceptualizations of refugee trauma, effects of parental trauma transmission on descendants' health and well-being, and mechanisms of transmission and underlying meanings attributed to parental trauma in refugee families. Greater methodological rigor and consistency in future evidence-based research is needed to inform supportive systems that promote the health and well-being of refugees and their descendants.

Concepts: Scientific method, Critical thinking, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, Psychological trauma, Meta-analysis, Critical appraisal


Obesity is a growing public health concern and is more prevalent among low-income and minority populations. Food insecurity may increase the odds of obesity in children. We investigated the association between food insecurity and obesity among low-income, Hispanic, mother-child dyads (n = 74). The United States Department of Agriculture 18-item Household Food Security Survey was used to determine food security status. The majority of households were food insecure (74 %) and one-third (30 %) of children were obese. Food insecurity increased the odds of childhood obesity (OR 10.2; 95 % CI 1.2, 85.5) with stronger associations found within households where mothers were also overweight/obese compared to normal weight (p-for interaction < 0.05). Rates of household food insecurity and childhood obesity were high among this low-income Hispanic sample. Future studies should elucidate the mechanisms through which food insecurity impacts childhood obesity.

Concepts: Public health, Nutrition, Obesity, United States, Malnutrition, Food security, Childhood obesity, Famine


The number of African-born residents living in the United States (US) increased by more than 750 % between 1980 and 2009. HIV diagnosis rates in this population are six times higher than estimated incidence in the general US population. African-immigrants with HIV are also diagnosed at later stages of infection than US-born residents, but they paradoxically have lower mortality after diagnosis. There are higher rates of HIV among women, higher rates of heterosexual transmission, and lower rates of injection-drug-use-associated transmission among African-born residents in the US relative to the general US population. Despite this distinct epidemiologic profile, surveillance reports often group African-born residents with US-born Blacks. The high rates of HIV among African-born residents in the US combined with increasing immigration and incomplete surveillance data highlight the need for more accurate epidemiologic data along with appropriate HIV service programs.

Concepts: AIDS, Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Statistics, United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Immigration to the United States


Latino immigrants, particularly Mexican, have some health advantages over U.S.-born Mexicans and Whites. Because of their lower socioeconomic status, this phenomenon has been called the epidemiologic “Hispanic Paradox.” While cultural theories have dominated explanations for the Paradox, the role of selective migration has been inadequately addressed. This study is among the few to combine Mexican and U.S. data to examine health selectivity in activity limitation, self-rated health, and chronic conditions among Mexican immigrants, ages 18 and over. Drawing on theories of selective migration, this study tested the “healthy migrant” and “salmon-bias” hypotheses by comparing the health of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. to non-migrants in Mexico, and to return migrants in Mexico. Results suggest that there are both healthy migrant and salmon-bias effects in activity limitation, but not other health aspects. In fact, consistent with prior research, immigrants are negatively selected on self-rated health. Future research should consider the complexities of migrants' health profiles and examine selection mechanisms alongside other factors such as acculturation.

Concepts: Epidemiology, United States, Immigration, Human migration, California, Mexico, Mexican American, New Mexico


Knowing what real use is made of health services by immigrant population is of great interest. The objectives are to analyze the use of primary care services by immigrants compared to Spanish nationals and to analyze these differences in relation to geographic origin. Retrospective observational study of all primary care visits made in 26 urban health centers. Main variable: total number of health centre visits/year. Dependent variables: type of clinician requested; type of attention, and origin of immigrants. The independent variable was nationality. Statistics were obtained from the electronic medical records. The 4,933,521 appointments made in 2007 were analyzed for a reference population of 594,145 people (11.15 % immigrants). The adjusted annual frequency for nationals was 8.3, versus whereas 4.6 for immigrants. The immigrant population makes less use of primary care services than national population. This is evident for all age groups and regardless of the immigrants' countries of origin. This result is important when planning health care resources for immigrant population.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Health, Demography, Population, Observational study, Immigration, Health informatics