International Journal of Research in Nursing

Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors among Adult Australian-Lebanese in Melbourne

Lina Shahwan-Akl

DOI : 10.3844/ijrnsp.2010.1.7

International Journal of Research in Nursing

Volume 1, Issue 1

Pages 1-7

Abstract

This descriptive exploratory study reports on the prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) risk factors among adult Australian-Lebanese migrants living in Melbourne. This study fills a gap in extant research regarding CVD risk factors within this ethnic community in Melbourne. Problem statement: Australia’s multicultural society consists of more than 200 ethnic groups and nearly a quarter of the Australian population are born overseas. Thus, the health status of immigrants significantly affects the national health profile. Whilst the prevalence of CVD risk factors has been researched in several ethnic communities in Melbourne, it has never been studied among the Australian-Lebanese migrants living in Melbourne. Approach: A convenience sample of 200 adult Australian-Lebanese men (88) and women (112) residing permanently in Melbourne completed a structured questionnaire based on the 1989 National Heart Foundation Risk Factor Prevalence Study (NHFRFPS, 1990). Physical measurements of height, weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), waist and hip circumferences, blood pressure and reported cholesterol levels were also obtained. Results: Subjects were aged between 20-69 years and manifested many risk factors for CVD. Lack of physical activity and increased weight were prevalent across all age groups. Hypertension increased with age and smoking was more prevalent among the Australian-Lebanese when compared with the general Australian population. Multivariate forward logistic regression analysis found that the strongest predictors of CVD risk factors were age, gender, level of education and length of residence in Australia. The most vulnerable were older men with a lower level of education who had resided in Australia for more than 10 years. Conclusion: The CVD risk factors among the Australian-Lebanese included overweight and obesity, lack of physical activity and high levels of smoking. The findings warrant further research among other Arabic speaking groups who have similar social and cultural practices. The findings demonstrate the need for culturally tailored health promotion programs aimed at reducing CVD risk behaviors among this ethnic group.

Copyright

© 2010 Lina Shahwan-Akl. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.