Cardiovascular Health in St. Louis Bosnian-Americans
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In Bosnia and Herzegovina, cardiovascular disease accounts for nearly 50% of deaths. Cardiovascular health of resettled Bosnian-Americans has not been well-characterized. Our study aimed to quantify cardiovascular risk in Bosnian-Americans in St. Louis, the largest non-European center of resettlement. Seven community screenings focused on Bosnian-Americans were held. Cardiovascular risk was calculated to stratify individuals into low (<10%), moderate (10–20%), and high (>20%) risk. Those with self-reported coronary heart disease (CHD) or risk equivalent were considered high-risk. Two-hundred fifty Bosnian-Americans were screened; 51% (n = 128) consented to the IRB-approved study. Twenty-one percent were smokers, 33% obese, and 33% had hypertension. Excluding risk equivalent individuals, 5.7% of subjects were high-risk, increasing to 26.6% when including high-risk equivalents. Lipid abnormalities include elevated triglycerides (29.0%) and low HDL (50.0%). Compared to general American population studies, Bosnian-Americans have greater ten-year hard CHD risk. A community-based approach identified potential culturally-based lifestyle interventions including diet, exercise, and smoking.
KeywordsBosnian–American Predicted coronary heart disease risk Immigrant health cardiovascular screening
This study was supported by a grant from The Greater Saint Louis Health Foundation. We gratefully acknowledge the enthusiastic support of community partners without whom these screening events would not have been possible: Grbic Restaurant, Europa Market, Bosnian Chamber of Commerce, Aboussie Pavilions, Saint Louis Bosnians, LAMP interpreting services, Gateway Healthcare, as well as SSM Health and the Special Events team of SSM Saint Louis University Hospital..
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