Physical activity and body mass index in elderly Iranians in Sweden: a population-based study.Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 Nov; 62(11):1326-32.EJ
To analyze whether elderly Iranians in Sweden have a higher mean body mass index (BMI) and are less physically active than elderly Swedes after adjustment for possible confounders.
A total of 402 men and women (167 Iranian-born and 235 Swedish-born) aged 60-84 years residing in Stockholm, Sweden, were included in this population-based survey. Iranian participants were weighed and their height was measured. BMI values from the Swedish participants were based on self-reported data adjusted for the known discrepancy between objectively measured and self-reported weight and height. The outcome variables, BMI and self-reported leisure-time physical activity, were analyzed by linear regression and unconditional logistic regression.
Overall, Iranian women had the highest mean BMI (29.2) of all subgroups. The model that included an interaction between sex and length of time in Sweden showed that there was no significant difference in BMI between Swedish men (reference) and Swedish women or Iranian men. In contrast, Iranian women had significantly higher BMI than the reference group after adjustment for age, education and marital status. The largest difference in BMI compared to the reference group was found among Iranian women who immigrated to Sweden in 1989 or later (beta-coefficient=3.41, 95% CI=1.99-4.83). Iranians and Swedes had almost the same odds of >or= once-weekly leisure-time physical activity.
Elderly Iranian immigrants and especially women who immigrated to Sweden in 1989 or later must be targeted in order to decrease their burden of risk factors for cardiovascular disease.