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Journal Article

One size does not fit all: cardiovascular health disparities as a function of ethnicity in Asian-American women

OBJECTIVE: Although few studies have examined cardiovascular disease in Asian-American subgroups separately, limited data in Asian Americans strongly suggest that some subgroups are at increased risk. The present study examined modifiable cardiovascular risk factor profiles as a function of Asian ethnicity. METHODS: This descriptive cross-sectional pilot study recruited Asian-American women (N=147) in northeast Florida including Cambodians (n=39), Chinese (n=36), Filipinos (n=49), and Vietnamese (n=23). Risk factors included blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference and blood lipids. RESULTS: Filipino participants (41%) had >/=4 risk factors compared to 21% Cambodian, 13% Vietnamese and 0% Chinese. The Chinese had significantly more participants (44%) with the absence of CVD risk factors compared to all other subgroups. Obesity rate (18%), mean BMI: 26+/-5kg/m2 and mean triglycerides (173+/-103mg/dL) were highest in Filipinas (n=49). The Chinese (n=36) had a low rate (4%) of obesity with a mean BMI of 23+/-3kg/m2 and the least risk factors along with the lowest triglycerides (88+/-44mg/dL). Cambodians (n=39; BMI of 24+/-3kg/m2) and Vietnamese (n=23; BMI: 22+/-3kg/m2) had low rates of obesity with comparable rates of unhealthy lipids and hypertension as the Filipinas. CONCLUSIONS: Modifiable CVD risk factor profiles significantly differed as a function of ethnicity supporting the premise that Asian-American women cannot be categorized as one group and the traditional "one size fits all" prevention or treatment of CVD risk factors should be re-considered.

I.B. Ancheta
J.M. Carlson
C.A. Battie
N. Borja-Hart
S. Cobb
C.V. Ancheta
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