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Health Psychol. 1995 Dec;14(7):613-21.

Behavioral risk factors related to chronic diseases in ethnic minorities.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles 90024, USA.


This article reviews the evidence on 5 risk behaviors: cigarette smoking, dietary intake, being overweight, limited exercise, and alcohol consumption among African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Latinos, and Native Americans. Although there is little basis for believing that these high-risk behaviors are any less significant as contributors to chronic disease risk in any ethnic group, the limited information available, especially for Asian/Pacific Islanders and Native Americans, indicates that there may be significant within- and between-group differences in the prevalence of these behaviors. Therefore, some of the ethnic group differences in morbidity and mortality for chronic diseases are partly attributable to differences in behavioral risk profiles. Limited basic health behavior information on most ethnic minority groups delay the development of effective health promotion interventions.

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