AIMS: The effects of migration on cardiovascular risk factors are often gender specific. The purpose of the present study was to analyse the association of migration from Greenland to Denmark with cardiovascular risk factors in a gender-specific perspective. METHODS: Cross-sectional population surveys among adult Inuit in Greenland and Inuit migrants in Denmark (n = 1542). General Linear Models adjusted for age, smoking, diet (seal, fish, and fruit), and alcohol consumption. RESULTS: Blood pressure was significantly higher among Inuit migrants of either sex than among the Inuit in Greenland. Among women, HDL-cholesterol concentrations were 1.59 mmol/l in Greenland and 1.83 among migrants (p<0.001), while obesity and HbA(1c) were significantly lower among the migrants. Blood lipids, HbA(1c), and obesity did not differ between men in Greenland and migrants. Smoking, diet, and alcohol consumption differed significantly among migrants and non-migrants. Adjusted for the consumption of seal meat and alcohol, the difference in HDL cholesterol for men (1.44 and 1.66 mmol/l; p = 0.002) was of a similar magnitude to that of women. CONCLUSIONS: Migration was associated with cardiovascular risk factors in different ways among men and women. Some of the gender difference could be explained by dietary differences among male and female migrants and non-migrants, or in the case of HDL cholesterol by a different association with the consumption of seal meat for men and women, but a large unexplained residual remained. Overall cardiovascular risk was higher among migrant than non-migrant males, while for women some risk factors were better and some worse among the migrants.
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 2007, Vol 35, Issue 4, p. 380-6
Adult; Alcohol Drinking; Cardiovascular Diseases; Cholesterol, HDL; Cross-Sectional Studies; Denmark; Emigration and Immigration; Female; Food Habits; Greenland; Humans; Interviews as Topic; Inuits; Male; Middle Aged; Questionnaires; Risk Factors; Sex Factors; Smoking; Transients and Migrants