Prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease among African migrant and refugee adults in Melbourne
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2011, 00:00 authored by Andre Renzaho, Caryl NowsonCaryl Nowson, A Kaur, Jennifer HallidayJennifer Halliday, D Fong, J DeSilva
Migration to industrialised countries poses a “double whammy” for type 2 diabetes among sub-Saharan African migrant and refugee adults. This population group has been found to be at an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, which may be further aggravated by inadequate vitamin D status. Thus, this study aimed to describe the demographics of vitamin D insufficiency, obesity, and risk factors for type 2 diabetes among sub-Saharan African migrants and refugees aged 20 years or older living in Melbourne, Australia (n=49). Data were obtained by a questionnaire, medical assessment, and fasting blood samples. The mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was 27.3 nmol/L (95% CI: 22.2, 32.4 nmol/L); with 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels <50 nmol/L occurring in 88% of participants. Participants displayed a cluster of risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease: 62% were overweight or obese, 47% had insulin resistance (HOMA-IR ≥2), 25% had low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels ≥3.5 mmol/L, 24.5% had high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels ≤1.03 mmol/L, 34.6% had borderline or high levels of total cholesterol (≥5.2 mmol/L), 18.2% had borderline or high levels of triglyceride (≥1.7 mmol/L), and 16% had hypertension (systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg). These findings suggest that sub-Saharan African migrants and refugees may be at risk of type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis-related diseases such as ischemic heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Well-designed vitamin D interventions that incorporate lifestyle changes are urgently needed in this sub-population.