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Tobacco And Alcohol Habits of Immigrant Emergency Patients in Queens, NY

Tobacco And Alcohol Habits of Immigrant Emergency Patients in Queens, NY

Caitlan Anderson, M.D, Kristen Henkel, B.S., Nidhi Garg, M.D., Sanjay Gupta, M.D.

Objective:   To determine the prevalence of tobacco and alcohol use in immigrant ED patients.

Methods:   The study is prospective, observational survey in an urban 100K visit ED in Queens, NY, the most ethnically diverse county in USA.  Research assistants interviewed a convenience sample of patients over 16 months with a 3 page survey recording demographics, tobacco/alcohol use, and knowledge of current male/female preventive health recommendations from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.  Alcoholism screening used the CAGE questionnaire. Translation services were available for subjects.   Chi-squared analysis and Fisher Exact test were used for significance.

Results:   A total of 1380 surveys were collected; 640 male, 217 immigrant, 740 female, 256 immigrant.  The male survey; 28% of immigrants and 46% of non-immigrant men use alcohol, P = <0.001.  CAGE was positive in 8/60 immigrant and in 13/196 non-immigrant drinkers.  For tobacco, 13% of immigrant and 23% of non-immigrant men smoke, P = 0.008.  Smoking counseling was done on 67% of immigrant and 85% of non immigrant smokers.  All male smokers know tobacco causes disease and 67% of immigrants and 90% of non-immigrants have tried to quit, P = 0.028. Of the female subjects, 8% of immigrants and 19% of non-immigrants use alcohol, P = <0.001.  CAGE was positive in 2/21 immigrant and in 6/91 non-immigrant drinkers.  In tobacco smoking, 5.6% of immigrant and 17.7% of non-immigrant women smoke tobacco, P = <0.001.  Smoking counseling was done on 75% of immigrant smokers, and 85% non-immigrant smokers.  100% of immigrant and 94% of non-immigrant smokers know tobacco causes disease, and 83% of immigrants and 80% non-immigrants have tried to quit.  No significance was achieved.

Conclusion:   In this population, immigrant men and women drink alcohol and use tobacco less than the native population, but immigrant men and women receive less tobacco cessation counseling.

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