Prevalence of blood lipid disturbances in Swedish and foreign-born 60-year-old men and women in Stockholm, Sweden

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Mar;21(3):173-81. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2009.09.007. Epub 2009 Nov 25.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apolipoprotein A-I / blood
  • Apolipoproteins B / blood
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dyslipidemias / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / epidemiology*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / epidemiology
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • APOA1 protein, human
  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Apolipoproteins B
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Cholesterol