Background Immigrants are the fastest growing segment of the US population. Although differences in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors between immigrants and US born have been previously examined, the effect of acculturation on CVD risk factors in immigrants has been less well studied. We examined the association between acculturation (duration of stay in the US) and CVD risk factors among US immigrants.
Methods We used data from the nationally representative 2002 National Health interview Survey. We analyzed data on 5,328 adult immigrants. We identified 6 cardiovascular disease risk factors: overweight/obesity, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, smoking, and physical inactivity. Diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia were based on self-report. Overweight/obesity was defined as body mass index of 25+; physical inactivity was defined as no moderate/vigorous activity per week; and smoking was defined as currently smoking. We created 3 categories for duration of stay in US (< 10, 10-15, 15+ years). We used multiple logistic regression to determine whether duration of US stay was independently associated with CVD risk factors after adjusting for relevant confounders, including age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, insurance status, and annual income. STATA was used for analysis to account for the complex survey design.
Conclusions Duration of stay is incrementally associated with development of CVD risk factors among US immigrants. It appears that acculturation to living in the US may be an independent predictor for CVD risk factors among US immigrants.
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