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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2011;20(3):397-403.

Prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease among African migrant and refugee adults in Melbourne: a pilot study.

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1
WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, Deakin Population Health Strategic Research Centre, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia. andre.renzaho@deakin.edu.au

Abstract

Migration to industrialised countries poses a "double whammy" for type 2 diabetes among sub-Saharan African migrant and refugee adults. This population group has been found to be at an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, which may be further aggravated by inadequate vitamin D status. Thus, this study aimed to describe the demographics of vitamin D insufficiency, obesity, and risk factors for type 2 diabetes among sub-Saharan African migrants and refugees aged 20 years or older living in Melbourne, Australia (n=49). Data were obtained by a questionnaire, medical assessment, and fasting blood samples. The mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was 27.3 nmol/L (95% CI: 22.2, 32.4 nmol/L); with 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels <50 nmol/L occurring in 88% of participants. Participants displayed a cluster of risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease: 62% were overweight or obese, 47% had insulin resistance (HOMA-IR >=2), 25% had low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels >=3.5 mmol/L, 24.5% had high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels <=1.03 mmol/L, 34.6% had borderline or high levels of total cholesterol (>=5.2 mmol/L), 18.2% had borderline or high levels of triglyceride (>=1.7 mmol/L), and 16% had hypertension (systolic blood pressure >=140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure >=90 mmHg). These findings suggest that sub-Saharan African migrants and refugees may be at risk of type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis-related diseases such as ischemic heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Well-designed vitamin D interventions that incorporate lifestyle changes are urgently needed in this sub-population.

PMID:
21859658
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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