Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Dietetics and Nutrition

First Advisor's Name

Fatma G. Huffman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

John Landrum

Third Advisor's Name

Paulette Johnson

Fourth Advisor's Name

Michele Ciccazzo

Date of Defense



In a cross-sectional study design, risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) were evaluated in three groups: 66 Afro Caribbeans (FBCA) living in the US for less than 10 years, 62 US-born Afro Caribbean (USBCA) and 61 African American (AA) adults (18-40 years), with equal numbers of males and females in each group. Socio-demographic, dietary, anthropometric and blood pressure data were collected. Fasting blood glucose, blood lipids and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) were determined.

The USBCA and AA participants compared to the FBCA participants consumed significantly (p< 0.05) more mean total fat (g) (66.3 ± 41.7 and 73.0± 47.8 vs. 52.8± 32.3), saturated fat (g) (23.1± 14.9 and 24.9± 15.8 vs. 18.6 11.5), percent energy from fat (%) (33.1 ± 6.5 and 31.4 ± 6.4 vs. 29.3 ± 6.8), fat servings (1.8 ± 1.2 and 1.5 ± 1.0 vs. 1.2 ± 0.9), dietary cholesterol (mg) (220.4 ± 161.9 and 244.1 ± 155.0 vs. 168.8 ± 114.0) and sodium (mg) (2245.2 ± 1238.3 and 2402.6 ± 1359.3 vs.1838.0 ± 983.4) and less than 2 servings of fruits per day (%) (86.9 and 94.9 vs. 78.5). These differences were more pronounced in males compared to females and remained after correcting for age. Also, the percentages of USBCA and AA participants who were obese (17.1% and 23.0%, respectively) were significantly (p< 0.05) higher compared to FBCA (7.6%) participants. More USBCA and AA than FBCA individuals smoked cigarettes (4.8% and 6.6% vs. 0.0%) and consumed alcoholic beverages (29.0% and 50.8% vs. 24.2%). The mean hs- CRP level of the AA participants (2.2 ± 2.7 mg/L) was significantly (p< 0.01) higher compared to the FBCA (1.1 1.3 mg/L) and USBCA (1.3 ± 1.6 mg/L) participants.

The FBCA participants had a better CHD risk profile than the USBCA and AA participants. Focus should be placed on the ethnic and cultural differences in a population to better understand the variations in health indicators among different ethnic groups of the same race. This focus can provide healthcare professionals and policy planners with the opportunity to develop culturally sensitive programs and strategies for the improvement of health outcomes.





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