The aim of the study was to compare a group of immigrant women from the Middle East living in Sweden to Swedish-born controls regarding the prevalence of certain cardiovascular risk factors.
Health survey of randomly selected foreign-born women and women native in Sweden.
A total of 107 immigrant women aged 35-64 years from the Middle East (Iran [N=71] and Turkey [N=36]) living in Uppsala and residents in Sweden for at least three years and a control group of ethnic Swedish women (N=50).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
A questionnaire and a clinical examination specially directed towards measuring cardiovascular risk factors and prevalence of obesity, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension.
A less beneficial cardiovascular risk profile was found among immigrant women than among ethnic Swedish women. Turkish women had substantially higher body mass index (BMI), larger waist, higher waist/hip ratio and sagittal abdominal diameter, higher levels of serum triglycerides, and lower HDL cholesterol concentration compared with Swedish-born women. A similar tendency was seen also for Iranian women.
The present study shows important ethnic differences in cardiovascular disease risk factor pattern. Immigrant women from Iran and Turkey are heavier than women born in Sweden and have a higher prevalence of abdominal obesity, an unfavorable lipid profile, and a high degree of physical inactivity during leisure time, which may predispose for a higher incidence of diabetes and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
2005. Vol. 15, no 2, 213-220 p.