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Open Access Research

Persistent disparities in cholesterol screening among immigrants to the United States

Jim P Stimpson1*, Fernando A Wilson2, Rosenda Murillo3 and Jose A Pagan2

Author Affiliations

1 University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA

2 University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX, USA

3 Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA

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International Journal for Equity in Health 2012, 11:22  doi:10.1186/1475-9276-11-22

Published: 30 April 2012

Abstract

Background

This study compared differences in cholesterol screening among immigrant populations and US born race/ethnic groups and whether improving access to health care reduced differences in screening.

Methods

Self-reported cholesterol screening for adults was calculated from multivariate logistic regression analysis of the 1988ā€“2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (Nā€‰=ā€‰17,118). Immigrant populations were classified by place of birth and length of residency.

Results

After adjusting for individual characteristics and access to health care, the multivariate adjusted probability of cholesterol screening is significantly lower for persons originating from Mexico (70.9%) compared to persons born in the US (80.1%) or compared to US born Hispanic persons (77.8%). Adjustment for access to care did significantly reduce the difference in screening rates between immigrants and natives because the rate for natives remained the same, but the rate for immigrants improved. For example, the difference in screening between US born persons and persons born in Mexico was reduced by nearly 10% after adjustment for access to care.

Conclusions

There are persistent disparities in cholesterol screening for immigrants, particularly recent immigrants from Mexico, but improved access to health care may be a viable policy intervention to reduce disparities.

Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/55 webcite

Keywords:
Immigrants; Screening; Disparities; Cholesterol; Ethnic groups