Morbidity in cardiovascular diseases in immigrants in Sweden

Authors


Malin Gadd, Family Medicine Stockholm, Alfred Nobels allé 12, SE-141 83 Huddinge, Sweden (fax: +46-8-524 887 07; e-mail: malin.gadd@slpo.sll.se).

Abstract

Abstract. Gadd M, Johansson S-E, Sundquist J, Wändell P (Family Medicine Stockholm, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden). Morbidity in cardiovascular diseases in immigrants in Sweden. J Intern Med 2003; 254: 236–243.

Introduction. Although immigration to Sweden has increased in the last few decades, the incidence rates of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease in immigrants are unknown. The aim of the present study is to estimate whether place of birth affects the incidence rates of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.

Material and methods. The study was designed as a follow-up study on morbidity in cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease between 1 January 1997 and 31 December 1998, including three and a half million persons with age range 35–64 years, of whom 550 000 were born abroad, from the database MigMed consisting of the whole Swedish population. Incidence rates and relative risks were estimated by indirect standardization and a proportional hazard model.

Results. The age-adjusted risk of coronary heart disease was higher in most foreign-born groups than in Swedes. For example, in nine of 12 male groups, the relative risks varied between 1.1 and 2.2, and in seven of 12 female groups, the relative risks varied between 1.4 and 2.5. When also adjusting for level of education and employment status, the risks were still high, but on a lower level.

Conclusions.  Foreign-born people possess an over-risk of cardiovascular or coronary heart disease(CVD/CHD) compared with Swedish-born persons, also when level of education and employment status are taken into account.

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