Prevalence and Types of Anemia in a Large Refugee Cohort in Western Europe in 2015
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Currently, vast numbers of migrants with largely unknown health statuses have been entering Europe. To improve care taking strategies, prevalence, severity and types of anemia in a large refugee cohort were assessed. Blood counts were performed in n = 787 inhabitants from six German refugee centers. Most included migrants were young, male adults. Anemia was present in 22.5% of subjects with an age-dependent prevalence increase (7.9% > 18 years vs. 30.8% > 50 years). More females than males were anemic (27.1% vs. 20.4%). The majority of affected migrants had mild anemia (86.2%) of either normocytic/normochromic (55.9%) or microcytic/hypochromic (20.9%) type. Observed anemia frequencies are in accordance with global anemia prevalence recently estimated by the WHO. However, the observed high rates of anemia particularly in female and older refugees emphasize the need for adapted care taking strategies in refugee medicine. Further evaluation of causes of anemia in the migrating population is needed.
KeywordsAnemia Refugee Asylum Blood Hemoglobin
The authors would like to thank all doctors and medical personnel involved in medical care of the refugees for their exceptional work. We would furthermore like to thank Christian Berger, Don-Philipp Dratschke, Matthias Joachim, Jean-Luc Kruppa, Henrick Langner, Bianca Schnake, Arne Steinbrück and Kai Zaengel for the organization of medical care, Annika Hampel for data processing and Torsten Bergemann of Nexave for the extraction from the electronic database. We thank Timothy Price for proof reading of the manuscript.
Research design: Alexandra Jablonka, Georg MN Behrens, Reinhold RE Schmidt. Sample collection and analyses: Routine clinical care. Data analysis: Alexandra Jablonka, Martin Wetzke, Christian Dopfer, Georgios Sogkas, Christine Happle. Writing and contributing to writing of the manuscript: All authors.
This study was supported by Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung (Grant No. Structural Fond), Medizinischen Hochschule Hannover (Grant No. Junge Akademie). Alexandra Jablonka was funded by the Young Academy Clinician/Scientist program of Hannover Medical School, Germany. Christine Happle received funding from the Young Academy Clinician/Scientist foundation and HiLF funding of Hannover Medical School, Germany.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interests to specify.
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