On average, more than 70,000 refugees relocate to the United States annually.1  They come from diverse regions of the world and bring with them health risks and diseases common to all refugee populations as well as some that may be unique to specific populations. The purpose of this document is to describe general and optional testing components that do not fall into the specific disease categories of these guidelines. These guidelines are based upon principles of best practices, with references to primary published reports when available.

This document differs from others in the guidelines, which recommend screening for specific disorders. The guidelines in this document include testing for abnormalities or clinical conditions that are not specific disorders but are suggestive of underlying disorders. The tests in this document may indicate either acute or chronic disorders and generally indicate the need for further testing and evaluation to identify the condition causing the abnormality. Testing for chronic health conditions is important, since these conditions are common in newly arriving refugees, both children and adults. 2  Since refugee populations are diverse and are predisposed to diseases that may differ from those found in the U.S. population, the differential diagnosis and initial evaluation of abnormalities are discussed to assist the clinician.


  1. Office of Immigration Statistics. U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Refugees and Asylees: 2012. Available at:  Cdc-pdf[PDF – 7 pages]. Accessed 7/1, 2014.External
  2. Tiong AC, Patel MS, Gardiner J, et al. Health issues in newly arrived African refugees attending general practice clinics in Melbourne. Med J Aust. 2006;185:602-6.