Title

The Effect of Living in the United States on Body Mass Index in Refugee Patients.

Publication/Presentation Date

1-1-2015

Abstract

BACKGROUND: We describe body mass index (BMI) trajectories over 20 months in newly settled refugees in the United States.

METHODS: Growth curves were modeled in in hierarchical linear modeling for cohorts from Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

RESULTS: For refugees from Southeast Asia and Africa, coefficients suggest an increase of greater than 1.0 kg/m2 per three-month time period, though the best fit function differed between the two groups. A non-linear model was the best fit for refugees from the Middle East, with an average increase of just under 1.0 kg/m2 over the study period.

DISCUSSION: A significant increase in BMI was observed for all refugees but of a different form, predicted by the refugee's region of origin. This may be related to food insecurity, acculturation, environmental factors, and cultural influences prior to and after arrival in the United States, though further study is needed to develop causal relationships.

Volume

26

Issue

2

First Page

421

Last Page

430

ISSN

1548-6869

Disciplines

Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences

PubMedID

25913340

Department(s)

Department of Family Medicine, Department of Family Medicine Faculty

Document Type

Article