Distribution and Incidence

SUDS has occurred in the 1980s among Southeast Asian refugees and immigrants in the United States, mainly among Laotians, Hmong, Kampucheans, and Filipinos. In Asia, SUDS has been described in the Japanese and Filipino medical literature and is also observed in refugee camps in Thailand. In 1983 the death rate ascribed to SUDS in the 25- to 44-year age group of Laotian and Hmong males in the United States, 87 per 100,000, was comparable to the sum of the four leading causes of natural death among other U.S. males in that age group. The incidence of SUDS has decreased since 1983, and there is evidence that the longer a refugee has been in the United States, the lower the risk.

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