Secular trends in the association between nativity/length of US residence with body mass index and waist circumference among Mexican-Americans, 1988-2008

Sandra S. Albrecht, Ana V. Diez Roux, Allison E. Aiello, Amy J. Schulz, Ana F. Abraido-Lanza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: We investigated whether associations between nativity/length of US residence and body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) varied over the past two decades. Methods: Mexican-Americans aged 20-64 years from the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) III (1988-1994), and NHANES (1999-2008). Sex-stratified multivariable linear regression models further adjusted for age, education, and NHANES period. Results: We found no evidence of secular variation in the nativity/length of US residence gradient for men or women. Foreign-born Mexican-Americans, irrespective of residence length, had lower mean BMI and WC than their US-born counterparts. However among women, education modified secular trends in nativity differentials: notably, in less-educated women, nativity gradients widened over time due to alarming increases in BMI among the US-born and little increase in the foreign-born. Conclusions: Associations between nativity/length of US residence and BMI/WC did not vary over this 20-year period, but we noted important modifications by education in women. Understanding these trends is important for identifying vulnerable subpopulations among Mexican-Americans and for the development of effective health promotion strategies in this fast-growing segment of the population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-581
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Volume58
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Immigrants
  • Mexican
  • Obesity
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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