Nav: Home

Heart disease, stroke less widespread among foreign-born vs. US-born adults

March 28, 2018

DALLAS, March 28, 2018 -- Foreign-born adults living in the United States had a lower prevalence of coronary heart disease and stroke than U.S.-born adults in nationally representative data spanning 2006-2014, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compared the prevalence of coronary heart disease and stroke among U.S. adults by birthplace. The proportion of adults living in the United States who were born elsewhere has almost tripled from about 9.6 million in 1970 to 40 million in 2010.

After adjusting for age and select demographic and health characteristics, researchers found that overall:
  • The percentage of U.S. men who report having coronary heart disease was 8.2 percent among those born in the United State versus 5.5 percent for those born in another country.For women with coronary heart disease, the figures were 4.8 percent for those born in the United States and 4.1 percent for those born elsewhere.

  • The percentage of the population living with stroke was 2.7 percent for U.S.-born men and women compared to 2.1 percent for foreign-born men and 1.9 percent for foreign-born women.

  • The number of years people had been living in the United States was not related to risk of coronary heart disease or stroke after adjustment with demographic and health characteristics.

Comparing individual regions with those of U.S.-born, coronary heart disease prevalence was lower among people born in Asia, Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean. Stroke prevalence was lowest among men born in South America or Africa and women from Europe.

The reason foreign-born adults fare better could be explained by the "healthy immigrant effect", where those who decide to immigrate to another country are usually healthier than others, due to either self-selection or physical/legal barriers.

Researchers said these findings may support efforts to target high-risk groups with public health interventions.
The study was led by Jing Fang, M.D., M.S., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The author reported no conflicts of interest.

A commentary by Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., American Heart Association Chief Medical Officer for Prevention and Chief of the Centers for Health Metrics and Evaluation, will be available on this manuscript.

Additional Resources:

  • Available multimedia is on the right column of the release link -

    Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association's policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at

    About the American Heart Association

    The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke - the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

    American Heart Association

    Related Stroke Articles:

    Retraining the brain to see after stroke
    A new study out today in Neurology, provides the first evidence that rigorous visual training restores rudimentary sight in patients who went partially blind after suffering a stroke, while patients who did not train continued to get progressively worse.
    Catheter ablations reduce risks of stroke in heart patients with stroke history, study finds
    Atrial fibrillation patients with a prior history of stroke who undergo catheter ablation to treat the abnormal heart rhythm lower their long-term risk of a recurrent stroke by 50 percent, according to new research from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.
    Imaging stroke risk in 4-D
    A new MRI technique developed at Northwestern University detects blood flow velocity to identify who is most at risk for stroke, so they can be treated accordingly.
    Biomarkers may help better predict who will have a stroke
    People with high levels of four biomarkers in the blood may be more likely to develop a stroke than people with low levels of the biomarkers, according to a study published in the Aug.
    Pre-stroke risk factors influence long-term future stroke, dementia risk
    If you had heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, before your first stoke, your risk of suffering subsequent strokes and dementia long after your initial stroke may be higher.
    Intervention methods of stroke need to focus on prevention for blacks to reduce stroke mortality
    Blacks are four times more likely than their white counterparts to die from stroke at age 45.
    Study shows area undamaged by stroke remains so, regardless of time stroke is left untreated
    A study led by Achala Vagal, M.D., associate professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and a UC Health radiologist, looked at a group of untreated acute stroke patients and found that there was no evidence of time dependence on damage outcomes for the penumbra, or tissue that is at risk of progressing to dead tissue but is still salvageable if blood flow is returned in a stroke, but rather an association with collateral flow -- or rerouting of blood through clear vessels.
    Immediate aspirin after mini-stroke substantially reduces risk of major stroke
    Using aspirin urgently could substantially reduce the risk of major strokes in patients who have minor 'warning' events.
    SAGE launches the European Stroke Journal with the European Stroke Organisation
    SAGE, a world leading independent and academic publisher, is delighted to announce the launch of the European Stroke Journal, the flagship journal of the European Stroke Organisation.
    The S-stroke or I-stroke?
    The year 2016 is an Olympic year. Developments in high-performance swimwear for swimming continue to advance, along with other areas of scientific research.

    Related Stroke Reading:
  • Best Science Podcasts 2019

    We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
    Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

    Climate Crisis
    There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
    Now Playing: Science for the People

    #527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
    This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...