Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 1301–1308 | Cite as

The Afro-Cardiac Study: Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Acculturation in West African Immigrants in the United States: Rationale and Study Design

  • Yvonne Commodore-Mensah
  • Maame Sampah
  • Charles Berko
  • Joycelyn Cudjoe
  • Nancy Abu-Bonsrah
  • Olawunmi Obisesan
  • Charles Agyemang
  • Adebowale Adeyemo
  • Cheryl Dennison Himmelfarb
Original Paper


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in the United States (US). African-descent populations bear a disproportionate burden of CVD risk factors. With the increase in the number of West African immigrants (WAIs) to the US over the past decades, it is imperative to specifically study this new and substantial subset of the African-descent population and how acculturation impacts their CVD risk. The Afro-Cardiac study, a community-based cross-sectional study of adult WAIs in the Baltimore–Washington metropolis. Guided by the PRECEDE–PROCEED model, we used a modification of the World Health Organization Steps survey to collect data on demographics, socioeconomic status, migration-related factors and behaviors. We obtained physical, biochemical, acculturation measurements as well as a socio-demographic and health history. Our study provides critical data on the CVD risk of WAIs. The framework used is valuable for future epidemiological studies addressing CVD risk and acculturation among immigrants.


African immigrants Cardiovascular disease Immigrants Acculturation 



This study was supported by pilot funding from National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) [1P30NR011409]. We would like to acknowledge all the research assistants (Felicia Sam, Grace Onayiga, Kojo Amoakwah, Audrey Addaquay-Corey, Selase Agudu-Morgan, Loretta Odro and Jonathan Aboagye) who participated in data collection as well as the leaders of the community-based organized organizations that allowed data collection to occur on their premises. Finally, we thank the study participants who dedicated their time to advance our understanding of CVD risk among WAIs.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest to disclose.


The Johns Hopkins Medicine Institutional Review Board provided ethics approval.

Informed Consent

All subjects provided written informed consent before being enrolled in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yvonne Commodore-Mensah
    • 1
  • Maame Sampah
    • 2
  • Charles Berko
    • 3
  • Joycelyn Cudjoe
    • 4
  • Nancy Abu-Bonsrah
    • 2
  • Olawunmi Obisesan
    • 5
  • Charles Agyemang
    • 6
  • Adebowale Adeyemo
    • 7
  • Cheryl Dennison Himmelfarb
    • 4
  1. 1.Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of NursingEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Johns Hopkins School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineSt. Agnes HospitalBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Johns Hopkins School of NursingBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.A.T Still UniversityKirksvilleUSA
  6. 6.Amsterdam Medical CentreUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands
  7. 7.Center for Research on Genomics and Global HealthNational Human Genome Research InstituteBethesdaUSA

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