Background: Australia has a high rate of cardiovascular disease mortality and also a significant proportion of migrants. Little is known about the morbidity Experience or cardiovascular risk factors among the larger migrant groups, and this is especially true of the Arabic-speaking population. Objectives: The objectives of the study were to identify the health profile of Arabic-speaking people in Sydney, Australia, to explore the relationship between level of acculturation and health indicators and to identify the morbidity profile of patients presenting to Arabic-speaking general practitioners (GPs). Design: Adult Arabic-speaking patients aged 18-70 years attending 20 Arabic-speaking GPs in Canterbury, Sydney, during the 2-week study period were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire in Arabic or English while waiting to see the GP. Data on cardiovascular risk factors, level of acculturation and reasons for seeing the GP were collected. Results: Data were collected from 851 patients (62% response rate). Almost three-quarters (73%) of males and 36% of females were considered overweight or obese (body mass index > 25). Of concern, 37% of males and 28% of females were smokers. Females were significantly less likely to have been tested for diabetes (p < .05) or raised blood pressure (p < 0.05) compared with females in NSW. Respondents consumed less bread per day and more fruits than in NSW overall. Respiratory complaints (flu and colds) were the most frequently reported reasons for patient encounters. Except for the youngest age group, males gave more reasons for encounters than females. Conclusions: Consecutive sampling of ethnic patients attending a GP who speaks their language holds promise as a method of needs assessment with migrant populations. Further, our results suggest that smoking and weight reduction programs are priorities in the Arabic-speaking community. These risk factors are ideal for intervention by GPs speaking the same language.
- Cardiovascular risk factors
- General practice