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Racial/ethnic, gender, and age group differences in cardiometabolic risks among adults in a Northern California health plan: a cross-sectional study

In the U.S., the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension are higher among African American/Black (Black), Latinx, and Filipino adults than non-Hispanic White (White) and Chinese adults. We compared the racial/ethnic-specific prevalence of several modifiable cardiometabolic risks in an insured adult population to identify behaviors that may drive racial/ethnic differences in cardiometabolic health. This cross-sectional study used data for middle-aged (35-64) and older (65-79) Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) adult health plan members. Smoking status and BMI were derived from electronic health record data. Weighted pooled self-reported data from the 2014/2015 and 2017 KPNC Member Health Survey cycles were used to estimate daily number of servings of fruits/vegetables, general sodium avoidance, sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption frequency, alcohol use within daily recommended limit, weekly exercise frequency, and number of hours of sleep daily. Age-standardized estimates of all cardiometabolic risks were produced for middle-aged and older-aged women and men in the five racial/ethnic groups. Analyses focused on racial/ethnic differences within age-gender groups and gender and age group differences within racial/ethnic groups. In both age groups, Black, Latinx, and Filipino adults were more likely than White and Chinese adults to have overweight and obesity and were less likely to engage in health promoting dietary (fruit/vegetable and SSB consumption, sodium avoidance (women only)) and sleep behaviors. Middle-aged Black and Filipino men were more likely than White men to be current smokers. Less racial/ethnic variation was seen in exercise frequency. Significant gender differences were observed for dietary behaviors overall and within racial/ethnic groups, especially among middle-aged adults; however, these gender differences were smaller for sleep and exercise. Age differences within gender and racial/ethnic groups were less consistent. Racial/ethnic and gender differences in these behaviors were also seen in the subsample of adults with diabetes and/or hypertension and in the subsample of adults who reported they were trying to engage in health promoting behaviors. Black, Latinx, and Filipino adults were more likely than White and Chinese adults to report dietary and sleep behaviors associated with development and worsening of cardiometabolic conditions, with men exhibiting poorer dietary behaviors than women.

Authors: Gordon, Nancy P; Hsueh, Loretta

BMC Public Health. 2021 06 25;21(1):1227. Epub 2021-06-25.

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