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Health Assessment of the Arab American Community in Southwest Chicago


Chicago is among the top five metropolitan areas in the United States where Arab Americans reside; however, we have little available data on their perceptions of personal or community health. We collected 200 community health surveys in collaboration with a community-based organization that serves mainly Arabs in Chicago’s southwest suburbs. The survey evaluated perceived community and personal health. In a mostly female, married, and low-income sample, participants identified cancers, diabetes, and high blood pressure/cholesterol as the top three health problems, while alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and overweight/obesity as the top three risky behaviors within the community. Gender differences, age differences, and educational level differences were found on certain determinants of health regarding the health of the community, perceived health problems, and risky behaviors. Our data validates previous findings from the literature highlighting cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure as health priorities among Arabs, but offers new insights into unidentified issues within the Arab American community in Southwest Chicago such as alcohol, drug abuse, and child neglect/abuse. Furthermore, our findings warrant the need for classifying Arabs as a separate minority population facing health disparities.

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Correspondence to Sarah Abboud.

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Zayed, L., Chebli, P., Shalabi, I. et al. Health Assessment of the Arab American Community in Southwest Chicago. J Community Health (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-020-00791-2

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  • Arabs
  • Arab americans
  • Health assessment
  • Community
  • Chicago