Open Access Open Badges Research article

Comparison of cardiovascular risk factors between sri lankans living in kandy and oslo

Sampath UB Tennakoon12*, Bernadette N Kumar1, Danasela B Nugegoda2 and Haakon E Meyer13

Author Affiliations

1 Department of General Practice and Community Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

2 Department of Community Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

3 Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:654  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-654

Published: 29 October 2010



South Asians living in western countries are known to have unfavourable cardiovascular risk profiles. Studies indicate migrants are worse off when compared to those living in country of origin. The purpose of this study was to compare selected cardiovascular risk factors between migrant Sri Lankans living in Oslo, Norway and Urban dwellers from Kandy, Sri Lanka.


Data on non fasting serum lipids, blood pressure, anthropometrics and socio demographics of Sri Lankan Tamils from two almost similar population based cross sectional studies in Oslo, Norway between 2000 and 2002 (1145 participants) and Kandy, Sri Lanka in 2005 (233 participants) were compared. Combined data were analyzed using linear regression analyses.


Men and women in Oslo had higher HDL cholesterol. Men and women from Kandy had higher Total/HDL cholesterol ratios. Mean waist circumference and body mass index was higher in Oslo. Smoking among men was low (19.2% Oslo, 13.1% Kandy, P = 0.16). None of the women smoked. Mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure was significantly higher in Kandy than in Oslo.


Our comparison showed unexpected differences in risk factors between Sri Lankan migrants living in Oslo and those living in Kandy Sri Lanka. Sri Lankans in Oslo had favorable lipid profiles and blood pressure levels despite being more obese.