Russian Immigrant Cardiovascular Risk Assessment


Immigration from the former Soviet Union has been increasing. In 1990, there were 454,000 Russian immigrants living in the United States. Lifestyle habits prevalent in Russia, including smoking, alcoholism, and little preventive health, are compelling medical and economic reasons to understand the health status of this population. This study identified a cohort of Russian-born subjects living in Denver to characterize their cardiovascular risk profile. Using a risk assessment questionnaire, 204 Russian immigrants were screened. Seventy-one percent had Medicaid insurance; 14 percent were medically indigent. Those aged 55 to 64 years had a higher prevalence of hyperlipidemia (p < 0.04) and hypertension (p < 0.03) than U.S. counterparts; those age 20 to 34 and 65 to 74 years had a higher prevalence of hypertension (p < 0.00001). Almost half of the participants had two or more cardiac risk factors. Cardiac risk factor identification and intervention programs may help to reduce the health care costs for these patients.