Dietary intake and risk of coronary heart disease differ among ethnic subgroups of Black Americans

Kristie J. Lancaster, Sheldon O. Watts, L. Beth Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coronary heart disease (CHD) morbidity and mortality are more prevalent in Blacks than Whites in the United States. Most studies evaluate the dietary intake and health of Black Americans as one group and do not consider possible differences among ethnic subgroups within the U.S. Black population. We used data from NHANES III to assess whether dietary intake, CHD risk factors, and predicted 10-y risk of CHD differed between non-Hispanic Black adults born in the United States (NHB-US), and non-Hispanic and Hispanic Black adults born outside of the United States (NHB-nonUS, HB-nonUS). Data were provided from single 24-h dietary recalls, biochemical measures, the medical examination, and self-reported responses to survey questions. NHB-US had higher intakes of energy, fat, protein, meat, added sugars, and sodium, and lower intakes of fruits, fiber, and most micronutrients. NHB-US also had higher predicted 10-y risk of developing CHD (5.8%) than NHB-nonUS (3.7%, P < 0.001) or HB-nonUS (4.7%, P = 0.017). Both immigrant groups had better CHD risk profiles and lower proportions of persons with metabolic syndrome and other CHD-related conditions. Our findings show differences in dietary intake and risk of CHD and related health conditions among ethnic subgroups of Blacks living in the United States. Future studies of diet and health should consider cultural differences within the Black population to better understand and reduce overall health disparities in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-451
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Acculturation
  • Black Americans
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Dietary intake
  • Health disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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