Diet, Physical Activity, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Among Older Chinese Americans Living in New York City
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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the US and affects Chinese Americans disproportionately compared to other ethnic groups in the American population. However, few studies have examined CVD risk factors, including diet and physical activity, in Chinese Americans. This investigation used a cross-sectional design to evaluate the dietary intake, dietary supplement use, and physical activity of 125 older Chinese Americans aged 50–98 years, and to determine how these behaviors may be related to obesity and other CVD risk factors. Sociodemographic information, CVD risk factors, dietary intake, and physical activity were obtained from all participants recruited from health fairs conducted in New York City (NYC). The findings revealed that older Chinese American adults living in NYC had a high prevalence of overweight and obesity, borderline hypertension, pre-diabetes, and diabetes. Many participants did not meet their daily requirements calcium, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, several minerals and vitamins important for cardiovascular health. Although most participants consumed an adequate numbers of servings of foods from the main food groups, most did not meet the recommended number of servings of dairy foods and only one in four adults took a multivitamin supplement daily. After adjusting for potential confounders, daily consumption of oil/sweets and dairy foods was positively associated with waist circumference. Also, daily consumption of oils/sweets, meats, and grains was positively associated with systolic blood pressure. The majority of the participants reported at least 30 min of moderate intensity physical activity per day. Dietary intake or supplement use did not show protective effects but performing vigorous physical activity may reduce risk of CVD in this population.
KeywordsChinese Americans Cardiovascular disease risk factors Dietary intake Physical activity
This project was funded by the American Heart Association Clinical Grant and the Chinese American Medical Society Community Service Fund.
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