Scientific article
Open access

Undocumented migrants in Switzerland: geographical origin versus legal status as risk factor for tuberculosis

Published inJournal of immigrant and minority health, vol. 12, no. 1, p. 18-23
  • Open Access - Licence nationale Springer
Publication date2010

Undocumented migrants, meaning migrants without a legal residency permit, come to Geneva from countries with high tuberculosis (TB) incidence. We estimate here whether being undocumented is a determinant of TB, independently of origin. Cross-sectional study including undocumented migrants in a TB screening program in 2002; results were compared to 12,904 age and frequency matched participants in a general TB screening program conducted at various workplaces in Geneva, Switzerland from 1992 to 2002. A total of 206 undocumented migrants (36% male, 64% female, mean age 37.8 years (SD 11.8), 82.5% from Latin America) participated in the TB screening program. Compared to legal residents, undocumented migrants had an adjusted OR for TB-related fibrotic signs of 1.7 (95% CI 0.8;3.7). The OR of TB-related fibrotic signs for Latin American (vs. other) origin was 2.7 (95% CI 1.6;4.7) among legal residents and 5.5 (95% CI 2.8;10.8) among undocumented migrants. Chest X-ray screening identified a higher proportion of TB-related fibrotic signs among Latin Americans, independently of their residency status.

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • *Geography
  • Humans
  • Latin America/ethnology
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium/isolation & purification
  • Risk Factors
  • Switzerland/epidemiology
  • Transients and Migrants/*legislation & jurisprudence
  • Tuberculosis/diagnosis/*ethnology
Citation (ISO format)
WOLFF, Hans et al. Undocumented migrants in Switzerland: geographical origin versus legal status as risk factor for tuberculosis. In: Journal of immigrant and minority health, 2010, vol. 12, n° 1, p. 18–23. doi: 10.1007/s10903-009-9271-6
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1557-1912

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