Objective: Mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD) is lower in foreign-born Blacks compared to their US-born counterparts. The purpose of this study was to determine if behavioral risk factors for CHD are different between foreign-born Afro Caribbeans (FBAC) and their US-born counterparts (US-born Afro Caribbean Americans, USBAC and African Americans, AA).
Design and participants: For a cross-sectional study, 66 FBAC (31 males; 35 females) living in the United States <10 years, 62 USBAC (30 males; 32 females), and 61 AA (30 males; 31 females) adults (18-40 years) were recruited. Dietary, anthropometric, physical activity, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption data were collected and analyzed.
Main outcome measure: Risk factors for CHD.
Results: Significantly (P<.05) more USBAC (50.0%) and AA (31.0%) males consumed an unhealthy diet compared to the FBAC (16.7%) males. Also, significantly (P<.05) more USBAC and AA males compared to FBAC males were obese (20.0% and 33.3% vs 6.5%). No significant differences were observed between the female ethnic groups. Although less USBAC and AA males and females compared to FBAC males and females played sports, the differences were not significant. More USBAC and AA males compared to FBAC (10.0% and 3.3% vs 0.0%) smoked cigarettes and consumed alcoholic beverages (43.3% and 63.3% vs 16.1%). Among the female ethnic groups, only the AA smoked cigarettes. Significantly (P<.05) more USBAC (36.7%) and AA (33.3%) males compared to FBAC (3.2%) males had poorer behavioral habits, with no significant differences observed between the female ethnic groups.
Conclusions: Our study showed significant differences in CHD risk behaviors among individuals of African decent. The FBAC participants had more favorable behaviors in preventing CHD compared to their US-born counterparts.