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Ethn Dis. 2008 Spring;18(2):228-34.

Biological risk factors relevant to chronic disease in three ethnic groups in Taiwan: results from Li-Shin Outreaching Neighborhood Screening (LIONS A1).

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Department of Health Care Management, Chang-Gung University, Taiwan.



Few population-based studies have compared risk factors related to chronic diseases across multiethnic groups of Chinese people. Consequently, we report the prevalence of common chronic disorders that make up the metabolic syndrome and compare their distribution in three ethnic subgroups: the offspring of Hakka, Minnan, and mainlander women.


We included 6854 participants in the Li-Shin Outreaching Neighborhood Screening (LIONS) project: 3088 (45.1%) Hakkas, 2461 (35.9%) Minnans, and 1305 (19.0%) mainlanders. Information on demographic features and recognized lifestyle factors was collected by using questionnaires; data on biological markers of metabolic syndrome were collected from serum samples by using standard biochemical analyses.


Miscegenation averaged 22%. Smoking, alcohol consumption, and betel chewing varied across the three subpopulations. After controlling for demographic features and these three risk factors, men with mainlander mothers had more body fat. Compared with offspring with Hakka mothers, attendees whose mothers were from Minnan had higher uric acid concentrations.


Despite the rarity of racial miscegenation in the three ethnic groups, most biological markers of metabolic syndrome were identical across the groups. Disparities were found for hyperuricemia in attendees whose mothers were from Minnan and for obesity in men whose mothers were mainlanders. These findings can help design health policy for the early detection of chronic disease in different ethnic Chinese groups.

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