Lungs are particularly vulnerable to both acute infections, including TB, and chronic diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as to malignancies, all of which require particular attention during war times in which health conditions are far from optimal.


This retrospective cross-sectional study included 1149 refugees that underwent thoracic computed tomography (CT) for respiratory symptoms between March 2013 and February 2015 in Turkey.


At least one positive CT finding was seen in 231 (20.1%) of the patients. The most common findings were chronic pulmonary changes (n=197, 17.2%), followed by findings suggestive of infections (n=39, 3.4%), and mass/nodular lesions (n=16, 1.4%). The rates of the lesions suggestive of active TB and malignancy were 1.0% (n=11) and 0.7% (n=8), respectively. Age 55–64 years was an independent significant predictor for any CT lesion, chronic changes, mass lesions, and lesions suggestive of malignancy. Age>65 years was predictive of any CT lesion and chronic changes.


The findings of this study indicate the need for implementation of cost-effective screening strategies in refugees, particularly during war times. Screening for TB would improve disease control among both refugees and the host populations. Middle aged and older individuals, in particular, would benefit from more proactive screening tools and strategies for the early diagnosis of pulmonary malignancies and chronic lung diseases.

You do not currently have access to this article.