Aims: The migration from one cultural milieu to another has drastically increased cardiovascular risk factors and disease rates. We studied the prevalence of overweight and obesity, and hypertension among adolescents of Ethiopian origin who immigrated to Israel, as well as on Israeli born children of Ethiopian origin.
Methods: Adolescents aged 16-19 years, who were medically examined prior to mandatory military service in Israel between 1992 through 2016 were included. Participants of Ethiopian origin were classified into Israeli-born (N=15,793) and immigrants (N=23,487), and adolescents from families that were at least 3 generations in Israel served as controls (n=277,789). BMI was stratified by sex and divided to 6 groups: <17, 17.5-18.4, 18.5-19.9, 20.0-22.4, 22.5-24.9, >25.0 kg/m2. Hypertensive-range blood pressure values adjusted for age, sex and height served as the outcome.
Results: The occurrence of hypertensive-range measurements increased with the length of residency in Israel: 7.3%, 10.6% and 14.4% in males who immigrated at ages 12-19, 6-12 and 0-6 years respectively, and 11.5%, 16.7% and 19.3% among females, respectively. Israeli- born Ethiopians had significantly higher risk for hypertensive range measurements at any BMI above 20 kg/m2 compared to controls, after adjusting for socio-demographic and medical variables. Between 1992 and 2016, there was a 10-fold and 5-fold increase in overweight and obesity in males and females of Ethiopian origin respectively, compared to only 2-fold increase in the controls.
Conclusions: A pronounced increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among occurred in adolescents of Ethiopian origin occurred as well as an increased risk of elevated blood pressure compared to the Israeli population in every BMI group. The increase in the rates of obesity and of high blood pressure among adolescents of Ethiopian origin was according to year of immigration. These data are important in face of the waves of immigration that occur over recent years from developing countries to developed countries.
19 Sep 2019 - 21 Sep 2019