Abstract 3572: Acculturation is a Risk Factor for Higher Carotid Intimal Medial Thickness in Hispanic Americans. The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis
Background: The aim of this study was to determine if acculturation is a significant risk factor for carotid intimal medial thickness (CIMT) in Hispanic Americans.
Methods: Subjects were were 1,493 Hispanic participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). At the baseline MESA clinic visit, standardized protocols were used to quantify CIMT. The variable “generation” represents the degree of acculturation due to familial birthplace and was based on the number of relatives that were born in the U.S. Low generation number (e.g. 0) indicates fewer or no family members born in the U.S. while higher numbers (e.g. 3) indicate all or nearly all were born in the U.S.
Results: The mean (SD) age of the sub-sample was 61.3 (10.3) years and 52% were women. Thirty-one percent MESA Hispanics were born in the U.S. while 13.2% and 15.5% of their fathers and mothers, respectively, were born in the US. There were 68.8% of MESA Hispanics who were generation 0, 20.2% were generation 1, 7.2% generation 2 and 3.8% generation 3. With adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and hypertension, the mean CIMT values increased significantly in each higher generation (p < 0.01) [Figure 1⇓]. Similarly, compared to those participants in generation 3, those individuals born outside the U.S. (generation 0) had significantly reduced odds for having a CIMT in the highest quartile (Odds Ratio: 0.45, 95% CI: 0.24 – 0.84).
Conclusions: Among Hispanics, acculturation defined by birthplace is significantly associated with CIMT independent of CVD risk factors. The more acculturated an individual becomes to the United States, the larger the burden of subclinical atherosclerosis.