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Introduction: Although the relationship between health behaviors and outcomes such as smoking and obesity with longer residence in the United States among Mexican American immigrants is established, the relationship between length of residency in the United States and risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) is not fully understood. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between immigrant status, length of residence in the United States, age, and CVD markers in a sample of Mexican American adults living in Brownsville, Texas.

Methods: We categorized participants in the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort study as immigrants in the United States for 10 years or less, immigrants in the United States for more than 10 years, or born in the United States. We conducted logistic and ordinary least squares regression for self-reported chronic conditions and CVD biomarkers.

Results: We found bivariate differences in the prevalence of self-reported conditions and 1 CVD biomarker (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) by length of residence in the middle (41-64 y) and younger (18-40 y) age groups. After adjusting for covariates, the following varied significantly by immigrant status: stroke and high cholesterol (self-reported conditions) and diastolic blood pressure, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (CVD biomarkers).

Conclusion: The association between immigrant status, length of residence in the United States, and CVD markers varied. The effect of length of residence in the United States or immigrant status may depend on age and may be most influential in middle or older age.


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