Sex difference in the effects of sociocultural status on diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors in Mexican Americans: The san antonio heart study

Michael P. Stern, Marc Rosenthal, Steven M. Haffner, Helen P. Hazuda, Laercio J. Franco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

320 Scopus citations


The authors postulated that as Mexican Americans became more affluent and/or acculturated to "mainstream" United States life-style they would progressively lose their "obesity-related" pattern of cardiovascuiar risk factors which were defined as: Obeslty, diabetes, hypertrlglyceridemla and low levels of high density Ilpoprotein cholesterol. This hypothesis was tested in 1979-1982 in the San Antonio Heart Study, a population-based study on 1,288 Mexican Americans and 929 Angios living in three San Antonio neighborhoods: a low-Income barrio, a middle-income transitional neighborhood, and a highincome suburb. The study popuiatlon comprised 25-65-year-old men and non-pregnant women. in Mexican American women, all of the "obesity-related" risk factors fell sharply with rising socioeconomic status. in Mexican American men, by contrast, diabetes was the only "obesity-related" risk factor which fell with rising socioeconomic status. Moreover, It fell less steeply, there being an approximately twofold difference in diabetes prevalence between the barrio and the suburbs In men compared to a fourfold difference in women. Also, total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol rose with rising socioeconomic status in Mexican American men, but not in Mexican American women. "Obesity-related" risk factors were generally higher in Mexican Americans of both sexes than in their Anglo neighbors who were of similar socioeconomic status. These results suggest that cultural factors exert a stronger influence on diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors in Mexican Americans than do purely socioeconomic factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)834-851
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1984



  • Acculturation
  • Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Ilpoproteins
  • Mexican American
  • Socio economic factors
  • Triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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