Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 229–236

Imported Compounded Diet Pill Use Among Brazilian Women Immigrants in the United States

  • Pieter A. Cohen
  • Danny McCormick
  • Carolyn Casey
  • Glen F. Dawson
  • Karen A. Hacker
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10903-007-9099-x

Cite this article as:
Cohen, P.A., McCormick, D., Casey, C. et al. J Immigrant Minority Health (2009) 11: 229. doi:10.1007/s10903-007-9099-x

Abstract

In Brazil, compounded diet pills that combine amphetamines, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, diuretics and laxatives are often prescribed. In 2006, the Food and Drug Administration banned their sale in the United States (US) citing substantial safety concerns. This study evaluates the prevalence of, and factors associated with, use of these pills among Brazilian immigrant women aged 18–50. Pill use was assessed at one clinic and two churches using an anonymous survey (n = 307). While living in the US, 18% of clinic respondents and 9% of church respondents reported using these diet pills. Nearly two thirds of pill users reported adverse effects. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, being unmarried, college educated, dissatisfied with current weight, and advised by a US physician to lose weight were associated with greater odds of imported diet pill use. To enhance care of Brazilian immigrants, US physicians should become familiar with the health consequences of imported diet pills from Brazil.

Keywords

Appetite suppressants Immigrant health Cultural issues Disordered eating Women’s health 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pieter A. Cohen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Danny McCormick
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carolyn Casey
    • 2
  • Glen F. Dawson
    • 3
  • Karen A. Hacker
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of MedicineCambridge Health AllianceCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Community HealthCambridgeUSA

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