Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

CUNY Team Studies Cardiovascular Risk Factors among Asian Americans Adults

Dr. Sandra Echeverria, professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, Ms. Chioma Amadi, a doctoral student, and colleagues examined social and clinically-relevant cardiovascular risk factors in Asian Americans adults. The findings were published in the journal Preventive Medicine.

There is little evidence examining cardiovascular risk factors among Asian Americans and how social determinants such as nativity status and education pattern risk in the United States.

The research team used the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which oversampled Asian Americans from 2011 to 2014, to examine the prevalence of Type II diabetes, smoking and obesity for Asian Americans (n=1363) and non-Latino Whites (n=4121). The team classified Asian Americans as U.S. or foreign-born and by years in the U.S. Obesity status was based on standard body mass index cut points of ≥30kg/m2 and Asian-specific cut points (BMI≥25kg/m2) that may be more clinically relevant for this population. The research team fit separate logistic regression models for each outcome using complex survey design methods and tested for the joint effect of race, nativity, and education on each outcome.

Diabetes and obesity prevalence (applying Asian-specific BMI cut points) were higher among Asian Americans when compared to non-Latino Whites but smoking prevalence was lower. These patterns remained in fully adjusted models and showed small increases with longer duration in the U.S. Joint effects models showed higher odds of prevalent Type II diabetes and obesity (Asian-specific) for foreign-born Asians, regardless of years in the U.S. and slightly higher risk for low education, when compared to non-Latino Whites with high education. Smoking models showed significant interaction effects between race and education for non-Latino Whites only.

The authors concluded that their study supports the premise that social as well as clinical factors should be considered when developing health initiatives for Asian Americans.