Since 2011, 1.26 million Syrians have immigrated to Jordan, increasing demands on Healthcare service. Information about cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Syrian refugees in general, and specifically in Jordan, is unknown.
The study aimed to describe CVD in Syrian refugee adults who were referred to Jordan University Hospital (JUH) in terms of diagnosis, presentation, outcome, sources of funding for treatment, and to follow these patients after their discharge.
From January 2012 to October 2016, retrospective analysis was performed on the data of Syrian patients who were referred to JUH. This study describes the diagnoses, treatment, and outcome. It also discusses the funding sources; a follow-up was conducted until January 2017.
There were 969 patients referred to JUH with CVD; median age was 56 years, 686 (72.2%) of them were males and 283 (27.8%) were females. Of the patients, 584 had hypertension (60%), 308 (31%) had diabetes mellitus, 281 (29.0%) suffered from dyslipidemia, and 237 were smokers (24%). There were 69.6% who had coronary artery disease (CAD) and 20 patients (2%) had valvular heart disease. Treatment was offered to 489 patients (49.5%), but only 322 (65.8% of treatment offered and 33.2% of referrals) of them received the intended treatment. Mortality rate was 3% and loss of follow-up was 49.2%. Funding for procedures mostly came from the Jordanian Health Aid Organization, the United Nations, NGOs, and charities. Sixty-four (13.3% of referred) patients were denied any funding during the time frame of this study.
CVD is a major issue for both Syrian refugee patients and the Jordanian healthcare system. CAD and classic cardiovascular risk factors (specifically arterial hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia) are most common in this specific population. Inadequate primary healthcare, suboptimal living conditions, lack of funding, and loss of patient contact are among the major challenges facing this vulnerable population.