Prevalence of Blood Pressure, Blood Glucose and Serum Lipids Abnormalities Among Ethiopian Immigrants: A Community-Based Cross-Sectional Study

Maryam Ghobadzadeh, Ellen W. Demerath, Yisehak Tura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The main objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of hypertension, glucose and blood lipid abnormalities among a community of Ethiopian immigrants in Minnesota. This cross-sectional study used data from the parish nursing program 2007–2012. A total of 673 encounters were included in this study. Various dependent variables including systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), blood glucose (BG), and serum lipids were examined. High blood pressure was defined as a mean SBP equal to or higher than 140 mm/Hg and/or DBP equal to or higher than 90 mmHg. Elevated fasting glucose defined as levels equal to or higher than 126 mg/dL. High level of total cholesterol (TC), total triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol were defined as ≥240, ≥200, ≥160 and ≤40 mg/dL, respectively. General linear regression models were used to investigate the relationship of participants’ age and gender, to the continuously distributed response variables, which included systolic and DBP, BG, TC, TG, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. This is a nonrandom sample of adult Ethiopian church members who were invited to participate in a parish nurse cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor screening program. Participants in this sample were 43 % male and 57 % female. The overall prevalence of hypertension was 30.1 % with a cut off mark of 140/90 mm/Hg. The prevalence of hypertension was 33 and 24 % among men than among women, respectively (p < 0.01). Of all participants, 12 % had BG level of equal to or higher than 126 mg/dL. Low levels of HDL were reported in 30 % of the participants (<40 mg/dL). A higher prevalence of high LDL level (20 %) was observed among women compared to those found in men (16 %). High TC levels (>240 mg/dL) were observed in 15 % of the women and 10 % of the men (p = 0.2). Higher SBP and DBP were significantly higher in male participants than their female counterparts (p < 0.05) and in contrast, women showed a significantly higher TC (p < 0.01) and LDL (0.05) and HDL (p < 0.001). Female participants also had higher BG than male participants but the difference was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). This opportunity sample suggests high prevalence of CVD risk factors in a community of Ethiopian-American adults, and a pressing need for more comprehensive and systematic assessment of chronic disease health needs in this growing community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1070-1077
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 23 2015


  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular risk factors
  • Ethnic groups
  • Prevalence


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