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A Health Profile of Arab Americans in Michigan: A Novel Approach to Using a Hospital Administrative Database

Abstract

The objectives of this study were to estimate and compare the prevalence of heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, nephrosis, flu/pneumonia, hypertension, and atherosclerosis between Arab Americans and whites attending a large, metropolitan hospital system. The sample included 68,047 patients, 18 years of age or older, who visited the hospital during 2012. Demographic and disease variables were electronically abstracted. Demographic characteristics were compared between Arab Americans and whites using Chi square tests. Sex specific, age-adjusted prevalence ratios (PR) and 95 % confidence intervals were estimated for these two groups using a log-binomial regression model. Compared to white men, Arab American men had a higher prevalence of diabetes (PR 1.40, 95 % CI 1.29–1.52) and hypertension (PR 1.07, 95 % CI 1.04–1.10), and a lower prevalence of chronic lower respiratory disease (PR 0.74, 95 % CI 0.66–0.83). Compared to white women, Arab American women had a higher prevalence of chronic lower respiratory disease (PR 1.12, 95 % CI 1.01–1.25), diabetes (PR 1.49, 95 % CI 1.38–1.60), influenza/pneumonia (PR 1.26, 95 % CI 1.05–1.51) and hypertension (PR 1.04, 95 % CI 1.01–1.08). This study supports previous findings that health disparities exist for Arab Americans, who are classified as “white” in health statistics. Standard inclusion of Arab American as a separate ethnicity category will aid researchers in assessing the health care needs of this growing minority community.

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Correspondence to Florence J. Dallo.

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None of the authors have any financial or non-financial conflicts of interest with this research study.

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Dallo, F.J., Ruterbusch, J.J., Kirma, J.D. et al. A Health Profile of Arab Americans in Michigan: A Novel Approach to Using a Hospital Administrative Database. J Immigrant Minority Health 18, 1449–1454 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-015-0296-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-015-0296-8

Keywords

  • Arab American
  • Causes of death
  • Hospital database