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Non-communicable diseases and risk factors in migrants from South Asian countries

Published 15 November 2014 / By Hiranthi Jayaweera and Amy K. McLennan

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Introduction

This literature review and scoping report contains a review for a research project on migration and chronic or non-communicable diseases (NCDs). It begins with an overview of the geographical scope; the review focuses specifically on migrants that originate in small South Asian countries of Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Next, it outlines the ‘healthy migrant effect’, a phenomenon where migrants experience better health outcomes than the local or sending populations initially, but worse outcomes over the longer-term. It then turns to NCDs and risk factors in turn. For each NCD or risk factor, an overview of data on incidence in sending countries is given, followed by a discussion of any relevant literature relating to the health of migrants from the sending countries of interest. Finally, a brief summary of NCD- related migration policy is discussed. Searches performed are detailed in Appendix A.

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