One size does not fit all: cardiovascular health disparities as a function of ethnicity in Asian-American women
Abstract Objective Although few studies have examined cardiovascular disease in Asian-American subgroups separately, limited data in Asian Americans strongly suggest that some subgroups are at increased risk. The present study examined modifiable cardiovascular risk factor profiles as a function of Asian ethnicity. Methods This descriptive cross-sectional pilot study recruited Asian-American women ( N =147) in northeast Florida including Cambodians ( n =39), Chinese ( n =36), Filipinos ( n =49), and Vietnamese ( n =23). Risk factors included blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference and blood lipids. Results Filipino participants (41%) had ≥4 risk factors compared to 21% Cambodian, 13% Vietnamese and 0% Chinese. The Chinese had significantly more participants (44%) with the absence of CVD risk factors compared to all other subgroups. Obesity rate (18%), mean BMI: 26±5kg/m 2 and mean triglycerides (173±103mg/dL) were highest in Filipinas ( n =49). The Chinese ( n =36) had a low rate (4%) of obesity with a mean BMI of 23±3kg/m 2 and the least risk factors along with the lowest triglycerides (88±44mg/dL). Cambodians ( n =39; BMI of 24±3kg/m 2 ) and Vietnamese ( n =23; BMI: 22±3kg/m 2 ) had low rates of obesity with comparable rates of unhealthy lipids and hypertension as the Filipinas. Conclusions Modifiable CVD risk factor profiles significantly differed as a function of ethnicity supporting the premise that Asian-American women cannot be categorized as one group and the traditional "one size fits all" prevention or treatment of CVD risk factors should be re-considered.