Bridging the Cardiac Needs of a Large, Underserved Immigrant and Resettled Refugee Population.

Research paper by Hitesh H Agrawal, Gunjan G Dokania, Hugh D HD Allen, Stephanie S Acosta, Andrea A Caracostis, Luke M LM Havemann, Anna A Lara, Alan F AF Riley, Thomas J TJ Seery

Indexed on: 30 Jan '20Published on: 29 Jan '20Published in: The Journal of Pediatrics


To describe a monthly outreach pediatric cardiology clinic established to better understand the cardiac needs of immigrant/resettled refugee children. Data obtained between 2014 and 2017 from a monthly pediatric cardiology clinic at a Federally Qualified Health Center were analyzed using descriptive statistics. A total of 366 patients (222 male, 61%) were evaluated. Indications for referral included murmur (242, 66%), nonexertional symptoms (31, 9%), exertional symptoms (16, 4%), history of cardiac surgery/transcatheter interventions (15, 4%), previous diagnosis of heart conditions without intervention (13, 4%), arrhythmia/bradycardia (13, 4%), and others (36, 10%). Echocardiograms were performed on 136 patients (67 were abnormal, 49%). The most common final diagnoses include innocent murmur in 201 (55%), simple congenital heart disease in 61 (16%), complex congenital heart disease in 3 (1%), and acquired heart disease in 3 (1%). A total of 15 patients (4%) were ultimately determined to require surgical or cardiac catherization as an intervention. Patients have been followed for a median of 0.7 years (range 0-3.3 years). Rates of abnormal echocardiograms suggest a greater likelihood of congenital or acquired heart disease at time of initial consultation compared with nonimmigrant/refugee populations. The most common indication for referral to the outreach pediatric cardiology clinic was a murmur. Collaborative efforts between physicians and support services are essential in assisting this vulnerable population access pediatric subspecialty care. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.