Influence of socio-economic and lifestyle factors on overweight and nutrition-related diseases among Tunisian migrants versus non-migrant Tunisians and French

Caroline Méjean, Pierre Traissac, Sabrina Eymard-Duvernay, Jalila El Ati, Francis Delpeuch, Bernard Maire
BMC Public Health 2007, 7: 265

BACKGROUND: Migrant studies in France revealed that Mediterranean migrant men have lower mortality and morbidity than local-born populations for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). We studied overweight and NCDs among Tunisian migrants compared to the population of the host country and to the population of their country of origin. We also studied the potential influence of socio-economic and lifestyle factors on differential health status.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted to compare Tunisian migrant men with two non-migrant male groups: local-born French and Tunisians living in Tunisia, using frequency matching. We performed quota sampling (n = 147) based on age and place of residence. We used embedded logistic regression models to test socio-economic and lifestyle factors as potential mediators for the effect of migration on overweight, hypertension and reported morbidity (hypercholesterolemia, type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases (CVD)).

RESULTS: Migrants were less overweight than French (OR = 0.53 [0.33-0.84]) and had less diabetes and CVD than Tunisians (0.18 [0.06-0.54] and 0.25 [0.07-0.88]). Prevalence of hypertension (grade-1 and -2) and prevalence of hypercholesterolemia were significantly lower among migrants than among French (respectively 0.06 [0.03-0.14]; 0.04 [0.01-0.15]; 0.11 [0.04-0.34]) and Tunisians (respectively OR = 0.07 [0.03-0.18]; OR = 0.06 [0.02-0.20]; OR = 0.23 [0.08-0.63]). The effect of migration on overweight was mediated by alcohol consumption. Healthcare utilisation, smoking and physical activity were mediators for the effect of migration on diabetes. The effect of migration on CVD was mediated by healthcare utilisation and energy intake. No obvious mediating effect was found for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia.

CONCLUSION: Our study clearly shows that lifestyle (smoking) and cultural background (alcohol) are involved in the observed protective effect of migration.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"