Greater prevalence of select chronic conditions among Aboriginal and South Asian participants from an ethnically diverse convenience sample of British Columbians

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Dec;37(6):1212-21. doi: 10.1139/h2012-110. Epub 2012 Oct 26.


Canadians currently experience elevated rates of chronic conditions compared with past populations, and ethnic differences in the experience of select chronic conditions have previously been identified. This investigation examined the prevalence of select chronic conditions among an ethnically diverse convenience sample of British Columbian adults. A sample of adults (≥18 years) from around the province of British Columbia, including Aboriginal (n = 991), European (n = 3650), East Asian (n = 466), and South Asian (n = 228), were evaluated. Individuals reported their personal histories of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and physical activity behaviour. Direct measures of health status included body mass index, waist circumference, resting blood pressure, and nonfasting blood glucose, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and glycosylated hemoglobin A1C. All ethnic groups were found to have high rates of low HDL (>33%), physical inactivity (>31%), hypertension (>16%), and ethnic-specifically defined obesity (>23%) and abdominal obesity (>33%). Aboriginal and South Asian populations generally demonstrated higher rates of select chronic conditions. The implementation of ethnic-specific body composition recommendations further underscores this poorer health status among South Asian populations. Actions to improve chronic condition rates should be undertaken among all ethnic groups, with particular attention to Aboriginal and South Asian populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asians*
  • British Columbia / epidemiology
  • British Columbia / ethnology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology*
  • Chronic Disease / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology
  • Ethnicity*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / ethnology
  • Life Style / ethnology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Obesity, Abdominal / epidemiology
  • Obesity, Abdominal / ethnology
  • Whites


  • Cholesterol