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Open Access Research article

Cardiovascular risk factors among Chamorros

Binh Chiem13, Victoria Nguyen13, Phillis L Wu13, Celine M Ko1, Lee Ann Cruz4 and Georgia Robins Sadler124*

Author Affiliations

1 Moores UCSD Cancer Center, La Jolla, California, USA

2 Department of Surgery, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, California, USA

3 University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, California, USA

4 Pacific Islander Cancer Control Network, Office of Chamorro Affairs, Inc., San Diego, California, USA

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BMC Public Health 2006, 6:298  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-298

Published: 8 December 2006



Little is known regarding the cardiovascular disease risk factors among Chamorros residing in the United States.


The Chamorro Directory International and the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Questionnaire (BRFSS) were used to assess the health related practices and needs of a random sample of 228 Chamorros.


Inactivity, hypertension, elevated cholesterol and diabetes mellitus were more prevalent in this Chamorro sample compared to the US average. Participants who were 50-and-older or unemployed were more likely to report hypertension, diabetes and inactivity, but they were also more likely to consume more fruits and vegetables than their younger and employed counterparts. Women were more likely to report hypertension and diabetes, whereas men were more likely to have elevated BMI and to have never had their blood cholesterol checked.


The study provides data that will help healthcare providers, public health workers and community leaders identify where to focus their health improvement efforts for Chamorros and create culturally competent programs to promote health in this community.