Background and aims: Some immigrant groups in Sweden show a higher incidence of cardiovascular diseases, especially coronary heart disease. There is a lack of data of pattern of blood lipids among these. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of dyslipidaemia in men and women of foreign-born origin compared to Swedish-born.
Methods and results: A cross-sectional study of a random sample of the population in Stockholm County, Sweden, with total of 4228 60-year-old men and women. Medical, lifestyle and socio-economic data were collected by questionnaires, and anthropometric and laboratory data through medical examination. Outcomes were odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for dyslipidaemia in different groups, with Swedish-born as reference group, with adjustment for anthropometric, medical, lifestyle and socio-economic factors. Among non-European immigrants, the fully adjusted OR of high cholesterol was 0.57 (95% CI 0.37-0.88), of high LDL-cholesterol was 0.62 (95% CI 0.40-0.96), and of low HDL-cholesterol was 2.06 (95% CI 1.35-3.15). When only adjusting for sex, Finnish-born and non-European immigrants showed higher risk of high triglycerides, OR 1.31 (95% CI 1.01-1.71) and OR 1.98 (95% CI 1.34-2.93), respectively, and of high apoB/apoA-I ratio, OR 1.29 (95% CI 1.00-1.66) and OR 1.57 (95% CI 1.06-2.33), respectively.
Conclusion: The finding of blood lipid disturbances among immigrants in this study partly explain the higher cardiovascular morbidity shown in previous studies. Non-European immigrants showed a different lipid pattern, with lower HDL-cholesterol, which could possibly be of genetic background.
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