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Cardiovascular health in migrants: current status and issues for prevention. A collaborative multidisciplinary task force report

Modesti, Pietro A.; Bianchi, Stefano; Borghi, Claudio; Cameli, Matteo; Capasso, Giovambattista; Ceriello, Antonio; Ciccone, Marco Matteo; Germanò, Giuseppe; Maiello, Maria; Muiesan, Maria Lorenza; Novo, Salvatore; Padeletti, Luigi; Palmiero, Pasquale; Pillon, Sergio; Rotella, Carlo Maria; Saba, Pier Sergio; Scicchitano, Pietro; Trimarco, Bruno; Volpe, Massimo; Pedrinelli, Roberto; Di Biase, Matteo

Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine: September 2014 - Volume 15 - Issue 9 - p 683–692
doi: 10.2459/JCM.0000000000000069
Position statement

Objectives To review information on cardiovascular health and migration, to stress the attention of researchers that much needs to be done in the collection of sound data in Italy and to allow policy makers identifying this issue as an important public health concern.

Background In Italy, the rate of immigrants in the total number of residents increased from 2.5% in 1990 to 7.4% in 2010, and currently exceeds 10% in regions such as Lombardia, Emilia Romagna and Toscana.

Methods A consensus statement was developed by approaching relevant Italian national scientific societies involved in cardiovascular prevention. Task force members were identified by the president and/or the boards of each relevant scientific society or working group, as appropriate. To obtain a widespread consensus, drafts were merged and distributed to the scientific societies for local evaluation and revision by as many experts as possible. The ensuing final draft was finally approved by scientific societies.

Results In several western European countries, the prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, obesity and metabolic syndrome was found to be higher among immigrants than in the native population. Although migrants are often initially healthier than non-migrant populations in their host countries, genetic factors, and changing environments with lifestyle changes, social exclusion and insufficient medical control may expose them to health challenges. Cultural reasons may also hamper both the dissemination of prevention strategies and migrant communication with healthcare providers. However, great diversity exists across and within different groups of migrants, making generalizations very difficult and many countries do not collect registry or survey data for migrant's health.

Conclusions In the present economic context, the European Union is placing great attention to improve data collection for migrant health and to support the implementation of specific prevention policies aimed at limiting the future burden of cardiovascular and renal disease, and the consequent load for health systems. Wider initiatives on the topic are awaited in Italy.

aDepartment of Medicina Sperimentale e Clinica, University of Florence, Florence

bDepartment of Medicina Interna, Nefrologia e Dialisi, Ospedali Riuniti di Livorno, Livorno

cDepartment of Scienze Mediche e Chirurgiche, S.Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, Bologna

dDepartment of Malattie Cardiovascolari, University of Siena, Siena

eDepartment of Nephrology, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy

fInstitute d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, Barcelona, Spain

gDepartment of Emergenza e dei trapianti d’Organo DETO, Sezione di Malattie dell’Apparato Cardiovascolare, University of Bari, Bari

hDepartment of Scienze Cardiovascolari, Respiratorie, Geriatriche e Nefrologiche, University ‘La Sapienza’, Rome

iAS Department of Cardiology, Brindisi District

jDepartment of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia

kDivision of Cardiology, Dipartimanto di Medicina Interna, Malattie Cardiovascolari e Nefrourologiche, University of Palermo, Palermo

lDepartment of Medicina Sperimentale e Clinica, University of Florence, Florence

mDivision of Cardiology, ASL BR, Brindisi

nUOD Telemedicina, Dipartimento Cardiovascolare, A.O.San Camillo-Forlanini, Roma

oDivision of Cardiology, Department of Fisiopatologia Clinica - Sezione di Endocrinologia, University of Florence, Florence

pDivision of Cardiology, AOU Sassari, Sassari

qDepartment of Emergenza e dei trapianti d’Organo DETO, Sezione di Malattie dell’Apparato Cardiovascolare, University of Bari, Bari

rDepartment of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, Federico II University, Naples

sDivision of Cardiology, Department of Medicina Clinica e Molecolare, Facoltà di Medicina e Psicologia Università di Roma ‘Sapienza’ – Azienda Ospedaliera Sant’Andrea, and IRCCS Neuromed, Rome

tDepartment Cardio Toracico e Vascolare, University of Pisa, Pisa

uDepartment of Scienze Mediche e Chirurgiche, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy

Correspondence to Prof. Pietro Amedeo Modesti, MD, PhD, Dept. Medicina Sperimentale e Clinica, University of Florence, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134 Florence, Italy Tel: +39 055 7949376; e-mail:

Received 20 September, 2013

Revised 21 February, 2014

Accepted 21 February, 2014

© 2014 Italian Federation of Cardiology. All rights reserved.