Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 372–379 | Cite as

Cardiovascular Disease Risks in Hmong Refugees from Wat Tham Krabok, Thailand

  • Kathleen A. Culhane-Pera
  • MaiKia Moua
  • Terese A. DeFor
  • Jay Desai
Original Paper


No epidemiological studies on cardiovascular disease (CVD) were conducted on Hmong refugees arriving to the U.S. from 1970s to 1990s. This study measured prevalence of CVD and CVD risk factors in Hmong refugees newly arriving from Wat Tham Krabok, Thailand 2004–2006. Cross-sectional study of 1,462 Hmong refugees who received refugee screening exams at seven primary care clinics in St. Paul MN, June 2004–March 2006. In younger age group (N = 988, 0–20 years old), overweight equaled 13.7%, hypertension = 8.2%, pre-hypertension = 9.6% and in a subset, hyperglycemia equaled 20.7% and hyperlipidemia = 13.5%. In older age group (N = 448, >20 years old), overweight equaled 33.4%, obese = 14.8%, hypertension = 16.5%, and pre-hypertension = 36.2%. In a subset, diabetes mellitus = 2.8%, hyperglycemia = 31.7%, hyperlipidemia = 25.8%, renal insufficiency = 9%, and hyperuricemia = 11.7%. Hmong refugees had significant CVD risk factors on arrival. Healthcare providers and public health officers must identify CVD in addition to infectious diseases when refugees arrive in the U.S. and must address long-term care in order to forestall the development of CVD.


Hmong refugees Cardiovascular risk factors Epidemiological transition 



The Hmong Refugee Health Coalition consisted of clinical investigators Dr. May Yeu Heu, Dr. Foung Lo, Dr. Patricia Walker, Dr. Kang Xiaaj, Dr. Phua Xiong, Dr. Bobby K. Yang, and Dr. Peter Yang, and research assistants Susan Dicker RN, PaChia Vue MPH, and Blia Yang BA. We appreciate the support from the Minnesota Department of Health, including Ann O’Fallan BSN, MA and Blain Mamo MPH. We appreciate the creation of the Access database by Steve Springer PhD, Pfizer Pharmaceutical Inc. We acknowledged the important financial support from HealthPartners Internal Grant 2005, and Ramsey Medical Society 2004.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen A. Culhane-Pera
    • 1
  • MaiKia Moua
    • 2
  • Terese A. DeFor
    • 3
  • Jay Desai
    • 4
  1. 1.East Side Family ClinicWest Side Community Health ServicesSt. PaulUSA
  2. 2.St. Paul-Ramsey County Department of Public HealthSt. PaulUSA
  3. 3.HealthPartners Research FoundationBloomingtonUSA
  4. 4.Minnesota Diabetes ProgramMinnesota Department of HealthSt. PaulUSA

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