Cardiovascular risk is common among resettled refugees from Southeast Asia, but the association with refugee status is unclear. This study investigated the lipid levels of Burmese refugees as compared to the general population of Burma. This observational study included adult refugees from Burma undergoing domestic medical examination at a clinic in Minnesota (n = 127). The cholesterol levels of the refugee cohort were compared to a survey of Burmese residents sampled by the World Health Organization (WHO). The primary variable of interest, mean LDL, was 118.9 mg/dL in the refugee cohort. Adjusting for sex and age-group, this was 18.5 mg/dL higher than the WHO cohort (95% CI 10.0–27.1 mg/dL, p < 0.001). This study confirmed previous studies showing elevated lipid levels among Asian refugees. This work added to prior studies by including a refugee cohort that was newly-resettled and comparing it to the general population.
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