Author(s): Gadd M, Sundquist J, Johansson SE, Wndell P
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Although previous research has demonstrated a high risk of coronary disease in immigrants, the prevalence of unhealthy behaviours and risk factors is less known. The aim of this study was to investigate whether unhealthy behaviours and risk factors for coronary disease are more common in immigrants than in Swedish-born individuals. METHODS: Between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 2002 a simple random sample of the population was drawn and interviewed face to face. Eight immigrant groups in Sweden and a Swedish-born reference group, aged between 27 and 60 years, were studied. A log-binomial model was used to analyse the cross-sectional association between country of birth and unhealthy behaviours as well as coronary disease risk factors. RESULTS: Many of the immigrant groups showed higher risks of smoking, of physical inactivity and of obesity than Swedish-born individuals in age-adjusted models. On also adjusting for the level of education, occupational status and social network, the differences in risk persisted in the majority of groups. However, the over-risks of physical inactivity in Finnish and south European immigrant men and of diabetes in Finnish and Turkish immigrant women disappeared. CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of unhealthy behaviours and risk factors for coronary disease in many immigrant groups might be a lifestyle remnant from their country of birth or might be brought about by a stressful migration and acculturation into a new social and cultural environment. Nevertheless, it is important in primary healthcare to be aware of a possible preventable increased risk of unhealthy behaviours and risk factors for coronary disease in some immigrants.
This article was published in Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism