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BMC Public Health

, 15:1073

First Online: 20 October 2015Received: 12 April 2015Accepted: 12 October 2015DOI: 10.1186-s12889-015-2412-z

Cite this article as: Rabanal, K.S., Selmer, R.M., Igland, J. et al. BMC Public Health 2015 15: 1073. doi:10.1186-s12889-015-2412-z


BackgroundImmigrants to Norway from South Asia and Former Yugoslavia have high levels of cardiovascular disease CVD risk factors. Yet, the incidence of CVD among immigrants in Norway has never been studied. Our aim was to study the burden of acute myocardial infarction AMI and stroke among ethnic groups in Norway.

MethodsWe studied the whole Norwegian population n = 2 637 057 aged 35–64 years during 1994–2009. The Cardiovascular Disease in Norway CVDNOR project provided information about all AMI and stroke hospital stays for this period, as well as deaths outside hospital through linkage to the Cause of Death Registry. The direct standardization method was used to estimate age standardized AMI and stroke event rates for immigrants and ethnic Norwegians. Rate ratios RR with ethnic Norwegians as reference were calculated using Poisson regression.

ResultsThe highest risk of AMI was seen in South Asians men RR = 2.27; 95 % CI 2.08–2.49; women RR = 2.10; 95 % CI 1.76–2.51 while the lowest was seen in East Asians RR = 0.38 in both men 95 % CI 0.25–0.58 and women 95 % CI 0.18–0.79. Immigrants from Former Yugoslavia and Central Asia also had increased risk of AMI compared to ethnic Norwegians. South Asians had increased risk of stroke men RR = 1.26; 95 % CI 1.10–1.44; women RR = 1.58; 95 % CI 1.32–1.90, as did men from Former Yugoslavia, Sub-Saharan Africa and women from Southeast Asia.

ConclusionsPreventive measures should be aimed at reducing the excess numbers of CVD among immigrants from South Asia and Former Yugoslavia.

KeywordsAcute myocardial infarction Cardiovascular disease CVDNOR Immigrants Ethnicity Stroke AbbreviationsAFAttributable fraction

AMIAcute myocardial infarction

CHDCoronary heart disease

CIConfidence interval

CVDCardiovascular disease

CVDNORThe cardiovascular disease in Norway project

ICDInternational classification of diseases

RRRate ratio

UKUnited Kingdom

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s12889-015-2412-z contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Kjersti S. Rabanal - Randi M. Selmer - Jannicke Igland - Grethe S. Tell - Haakon E. Meyer


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