Navigation Links
Vitamin deficiency screening needed for refugees
Date:3/4/2013

New research from the University of Adelaide has discovered a high prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency among refugees, prompting calls for refugees to be routinely screened for the problem soon after they arrive.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a sign of severe malnourishment and can result in permanent damage to the nervous system. For women of child-bearing age, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to developmental defects in their unborn children. If left untreated, the deficiency could be fatal.

In the first study of its kind in the world, researchers from the University of Adelaide's School of Population Health studied more than 900 newly arrived refugees in Australia and found that 16.5% had vitamin B12 deficiency.

As many as one third of the refugees tested from Iran and Bhutan, and one quarter of those from Afghanistan, suffered from the deficiency.

The results of this study which have implications for other countries such as the United States and Canada are now published online in the international journal PLOS ONE.

"Vitamin B12 deficiency is a serious problem," says study leader Dr Jill Benson AM, Director of the Health in Human Diversity Unit at the University of Adelaide.

"Although we were expecting to find a reasonable number of vitamin B12 deficiency cases in this study, we were not expecting to see such a significant problem.

"You would not expect to see this kind of deficiency occurring in the population of a typical Western nation. What we're dealing with here is a highly vulnerable population, people who come from countries that experience extreme food security issues, and therefore they suffer from a wide range of medical conditions.

"Screening for vitamin B12 is not currently part of the standard health check for refugees entering Australia, but based on the results of our study, we firmly believe this screening should occur," Dr Benson says.

"With the United States, Canada and Australia being the three biggest nations receiving refugees from the same source countries, it stands to reason that this health problem will also be strongly prevalent among refugees in North America.

"Health authorities in each of these countries should consider providing specialized health services to refugees on arrival and in the months following their arrival," she says.

Dr Benson says general practitioners also require specialist training in refugee health. "Because of the wide variety of health conditions they might bring from their countries of origin, refugees require a much broader spectrum of health investigation than GPs may be used to," she says.

The results of this study will also be discussed at the North American Refugee Health Conference in Toronto in June. Clinicians involved in the Refugee Health Network of Australia collaborated on this research.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Jill Benson
jill.benson@adelaide.edu.au
61-883-136-277
University of Adelaide
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Vitamin E in diet protects against many cancers
2. Researchers determine vitamin D blood level for reducing major medical risks in older adults
3. Vitamin K2: New hope for Parkinsons patients?
4. Experts call for clinical trials to test non-skeletal benefits of vitamin D
5. Vitamin D + TB vaccine: Allies in fight against bladder cancer?
6. Vitamin C improves pulmonary function in newborns of pregnant smoking women
7. Vitamin C improves lung function in newborns of pregnant smoking women
8. Japanese-American Men With Low Vitamin-D Diet Face Higher Stroke Risk
9. Too much vitamin D can be as unhealthy as too little
10. Older adults may need more vitamin D to prevent mobility difficulties
11. Older Women Should Not Take Calcium, Vitamin D: Task Force
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at Children’s National Health ... Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Oct. 12-15. Chaired ... Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. Hunger, M.D., Chief ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, ... ... OnSite Wellness, has been named one of Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in ... Best and Brightest in Wellness® awards program on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... property taxes a year. In some states—like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, ... many overseas retirement havens have extremely low property-tax rates, which contributes to the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Dining at the University of California Berkeley, and other leading institutions in announcing ... buying power of institutions to change the way animals are raised for food. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... expanded its executive staff with the addition of industry sales leader, Thomas (Tom) ... will develop the national distribution and sales network, direct the efforts of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/18/2017)... , Pa. and KALAMAZOO, Mich. , ... Allentown, Penn. , and OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of ... business partnership to offer a strategic hub service that ... Healthcare,s highly sought-after personal spirometer, Spiro PD 2.0, and ... A spirometer is a medical device used to ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... and NEW YORK , Sept. 12, 2017   ... for global supply chains, has published the first annual edition of its ... of more than 20,400 companies evaluated by EcoVadis, based on Scorecard Ratings ... 2016. ... CSR Risk & Performance Index ...
(Date:9/9/2017)... ... to Washington DC ... September 12 th – Monday, September 18 th .The Brain Tumor ... brain scans to the public.Where:  BTF,s Mobile MRI ... K Street NW, Washington, D.C.What:BTF brings its nationwide initiative, the Road to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: