Asian immigrants likely to see blood pressure rise

May 13, 2002

The longer Asian immigrants have lived in North America, the more likely they are to have high blood pressure, according to a new study of Canadian national data.

Previous studies have shown that immigrants to Western countries have higher rates of heart diseases and heart risk factors than their peers who don't emigrate. This study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, shows that one of those risk factors, hypertension, grows more common the longer Asian immigrants live in North America.

"Differences in hypertension due to acculturation status may be a result of changes in traditional lifestyles and dietary practices, including meal patterns and food choices," says lead author Mark S. Kaplan, Dr.P.H., of the School of Community Health at Portland State University.

Asian immigrants who lived in Canada for four or fewer years had a prevalence of hypertension below 3 percent, compared with the more than 7 percent with hypertension among immigrants who had lived in the West five years to nine years. Ten or more years of residence related to more than 13 percent prevalence of hypertension, the researchers report.

The study included data on nearly 2,000 Asian immigrants surveyed as part of the 1996-1997 Canadian National Population Health Survey. The prevalence of hypertension in people over the age of 20 was 10 percent across the entire survey.

The study also showed that overweight or psychologically distressed immigrants had about double the risk of hypertension compared to their peers. These factors, as well as age, sex, education status, smoking and drinking status, physical activity, health status and access to health care, were controlled for in determining the effects of duration of residence on hypertension.

One weakness of the study is that the hypertension rates are based on survey respondents' answers to a question about whether they had been diagnosed with the condition, rather than actually taking blood pressure measurements, says Kaplan. He added that the results should be interpreted with caution.

"The relationship between acculturation and health status is a complex one," he says. "One firm conclusion that can be drawn from our study is that there is a clear pattern in the prevalence of hypertension that follows a timeline of cultural adaptation."
-end-
The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

This article is distributed by the Health Behavior News Service of the Center for the Advancement of Health, a non-profit organization that promotes greater understanding of the psychological, behavioral, social and environmental determinants of health. The Center advocates the highest quality research and communicates it to the medical community and the public.

Posted by the Center for the Advancement of Health http://www.cfah.org. For more research news and information, go to our special section devoted to health and behavior in the "Peer-Reviewed Journals" area of Eurekalert!, http://www.eurekalert.org/jrnls/cfah/. For information about the Center, call Ira Allen, iallen@cfah.org (202) 387-2829. To request a copy of this or any other article we have distributed, please E-mail press@cfah.org.

Center for Advancing Health

Related Physical Activity Articles from Brightsurf:

Physical activity in the morning could be most beneficial against cancer
The time of day when we exercise could affect the risk of cancer due to circadian disruption, according to a new study with about 3,000 Spanish people  

Physical activity and sleep in adults with arthritis
A new study published in Arthritis Care & Research has examined patterns of 24-hour physical activity and sleep among patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and knee osteoarthritis.

Regular physical activity seems to enhance cognition in children who need it most
Researchers at the Universities of Tsukuba and Kobe re-analyzed data from three experiments that tested whether physical activity interventions lead to improved cognitive skills in children.

The benefits of physical activity for older adults
New findings published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports reveal how physically active older adults benefit from reduced risks of early death, breast and prostate cancer, fractures, recurrent falls, functional limitations, cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and depression.

Physical activity may protect against new episodes of depression
Increased levels of physical activity can significantly reduce the odds of depression, even among people who are genetically predisposed to the condition.

Is physical activity always good for the heart?
Physical activity is thought to be our greatest ally in the fight against cardiovascular disease.

Physical activity in lessons improves students' attainment
Students who take part in physical exercises like star jumps or running on the spot during school lessons do better in tests than peers who stick to sedentary learning, according to a UCL-led study.

Physical activity may attenuate menopause-associated atherogenic changes
Leisure-time physical activity is associated with a healthier blood lipid profile in menopausal women, but it doesn't seem to entirely offset the unfavorable lipid profile changes associated with the menopausal transition.

Are US adults meeting physical activity guidelines?
The proportion of US adults adhering to the 'Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans' from the US Department of Health and Human Services didn't significantly improve between 2007 and 2016 but time spent sitting increased.

Children from disadvantaged backgrounds do less vigorous physical activity
Children from disadvantaged backgrounds and certain ethnic minority backgrounds, including from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds, have lower levels of vigorous physical activity, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge.

Read More: Physical Activity News and Physical Activity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.