Chronic illnesses in travelers to developing countries

Shmuel Stienlauf*, Bianca Streltsin, Eyal Meltzer, Eran Kopel, Eyal Leshem, Gad Segal, Shaye Kivity, Eli Schwartz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Methods A retrospective cohort study of travelers. We analyzed demographics, travel destinations, travel dates and duration, as well as the medical history (chronic illnesses, chronic medications, and allergies) of the travelers. Results Of 16,681 travelers evaluated, 3046 (18%) were TCI, of who, 2221 (13%) were taking chronic medications. The percentage of TCI ranged from 4% in the first decade of life to 65% in the 8th decade. The highest number of TCI (1085) was among the 20-30 years age group. The median age (IQR) of TCI was 39.0 (23.1-58.2), compared to 24.2 (22.0-32.1) years, of healthy travelers (p < 0.001). The major pre-existing medical conditions among TCI were endocrine/metabolic (38%), cardiovascular (26%) and pulmonary illnesses (16%). Within age groups, no difference was found in itinerary and other travel characteristics. However, 20-30 years old TCI, who were using chronic medications had significantly shorter travel duration (P < 0.001). -absp Conclusions TCI form a significant proportion of travelers among all age groups and travel destinations. Chronic illnesses appear to have little impact on travel itinerary and characteristics, but chronic medication use is associated with shorter travel duration to developing countries.

Background Data regarding travelers with chronic illnesses (TCI) traveling to developing countries is limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-763
Number of pages7
JournalTravel Medicine and Infectious Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014


  • Chronic disease
  • Chronic use of prescription drugs
  • Developing countries
  • Israel
  • Travel


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