Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Among Immigrant and US-Born Adults in New York City

Claudia Chernov, Lisa Wang, Lorna E. Thorpe, Nadia Islam, Amy Freeman, Chau Trinh-Shevrin, Rania Kanchi, Sharon E. Perlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Immigrant adults tend to have better health than native-born adults despite lower incomes, but the health advantage decreases with length of residence. To determine whether immigrant adults have a health advantage over US-born adults in New York City, we compared cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among both groups. Methods: Using data from the New York City Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2013-2014, we assessed health insurance coverage, health behaviors, and health conditions, comparing adults ages ≥20 born in the 50 states or the District of Columbia (US-born) with adults born in a US territory or outside the United States (immigrants, following the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) and comparing US-born adults with (1) adults who immigrated recently (≤10 years) and (2) adults who immigrated earlier (>10 years). Results: For immigrant adults, the mean time since arrival in the United States was 21.8 years. Immigrant adults were significantly more likely than US-born adults to lack health insurance (22% vs 12%), report fair or poor health (26% vs 17%), have hypertension (30% vs 23%), and have diabetes (20% vs 11%) but significantly less likely to smoke (18% vs 27%) (all P <.05). Comparable proportions of immigrant adults and US-born adults were overweight or obese (67% vs 63%) and reported CVD (both 7%). Immigrant adults who arrived recently were less likely than immigrant adults who arrived earlier to have diabetes or high cholesterol but did not differ overall from US-born adults. Conclusions: Our findings may help guide prevention programs and policy efforts to ensure that immigrant adults remain healthy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-547
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Health Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2022


  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes
  • hypertension
  • immigrant health
  • non–US-born
  • urban health
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • New York City/epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • United States/epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Emigrants and Immigrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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