Few epidemiological studies have investigated cardiovascular risk (CVR) factors including hypertension in migrant populations. In particular, few data are available on Chinese migrants to Italy, in spite of the considerable size of this population. This study is aimed to provide a preliminary CVR profile of Chinese migrants to Milan, Italy, as compared to a reference Northern Italian population.Design and method:
A questionnaire was administered to Chinese residents in China Town, Milan, during World Hypertension Day 2013–2015, to estimate prevalence of CVR factors such as overweight, smoking and hypertension. Hypertension was defined as presence of anti-hypertensive treatment and/or systolic/diastolic blood pressure (SBP/DBP)> = 140/90 mmHg at onsite measurement (validated oscillometric technique). A control group of Northern Italian subjects was selected during World Hypertension Day 2015.Results:
487 Chinese (mean age ± SD = 47.9 ± 12.2yrs, Male 54.6%), most of whom (62.1%) living in Milan for more than 10 years, were included and compared with 487 age and gender matched Italians. Overall smoking rate was 28.3% in Chinese and 26.7% in Italians (p = 0.57), among Chinese being much higher in males than in females (44.9% vs. 8.2%) (p < 0.0001), as compared with Italians (32.6% vs. 19.6%, p = 0.001). Chinese had smaller body mass index (BMI) than Italians, in the whole group (24.2 ± 3.4 vs. 25.9 ± 4.0 kg/m2, p < 0.0001) and in females and males separately considered (p = 0.033 and p < 0.0001). BMI was higher in males than in females in both populations. SBP/DBP were 132.2 ± 20.4/83.6 ± 12.7 mmHg in Chinese and 128.3 ± 17.7/78.6 ± 10.4 mmHg in Italians (p < 0.005 for both), BP being lower in females than in males in both populations (p < 0.01). Subjects with hypertension, treated hypertension and controlled hypertension were 325 (66.7%), 224 (69.4% of hypertensives), 109 (48.7% of treated) in Chinese and 186 (38.2%), 76 (40.9%) and 44 (57.9%) in Italians (p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001, p = 0.164, respectively).Conclusions:
Chinese migrants to Italy have higher BP levels and hypertension prevalence than Italians. Hypertension prevalence is much higher than in Chinese leaving in China (27%, Gao Y, PLoS One 2013). This may reflect difficulties in migrant's integration process, associated with poorer health care and inadequate life style, leading to higher CV risk, particularly in males.