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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


FERNANDES CUSTODIO, Débora; ORTIZ-BARREDA, Gaby  and  RODRIGUEZ-ARTALEJO, Fernando. Diet, physical activity and other cardiometabolic risk factors in the immigrant population in Spain: a review. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2014, vol.88, n.6, pp.745-754. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: The "epidemiological transition" of the immigrant population in the world, and particularly in Spain, is insufficiently understood, due to the multi-causality of the morbi-mortality and the limitations of the information about the lifestyles of immigrants. Thus, the objective of this work was to know behavioural and biological risk factors of cardiometabolic disease in the immigrant population in Spain. Methods: Scoping review of the literature published in the period 1998-2012. We selected articles in Spanish or English, with study participants from Latin-America, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe or who comply with the immigrant definition from the International Organization for Migration. Bibliographic search was performed in Medline and MEDES. Results: We identified 117 articles, and 16 were included in this review. Thirteen studies were published since 2009. In total, 15 articles corresponded to cross-sectional studies and one to a non-randomized trial; five were population-based, seven were conducted within a clinical setting, and four in mixed settings (population and clinic). In nine studies the sample was less than 500 participants, and 15 studies were conducted at the local or regional level. Thirteen articles focused on food habits and nutritional status, but showed substantial heterogeneity in objectives and results. Some studies found that the frequency of obesity was higher in the immigrant than in the Spanish native population, that the length of residence in Spain was not associated with obesity, and that the immigrants consumed less tobacco and alcohol but did less physical activity than the people born in Spain. Conclusion: The scientific production on the lifestyle and cardiometabolic risk factors among the immigrants in Spain is quite recent and scarce. Thus, it does not allow for characterizing the risk profile of this population.

Keywords : Obesity; Food habits; Cardiovascular risk factors; Immigration; Spain.

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