Daniel Arvidsson, Ulf Lindblad, Jan Sundquist, Kristina Sundquist, Leif Groop and Louise Bennet
To compare physical activity measures and their associations with insulin sensitivity, β-cell function and body mass index (BMI) between Iraqi immigrants and native Swedes.
A cross-sectional study of 493 Iraqis (58% men) and 469 Swedes (54% men) aged 30 to 75 years living in the city of Malmö, Sweden. Accelerometry was used for physical activity measures (sedentary time, breaks in sedentary time, moderate and vigorous physical activity, total counts). Insulin sensitivity index and oral disposal index were determined from an oral glucose tolerance test and BMI by body weight and height.
Iraqi men were less physically active than Swedish men, while the physical activity was more similar in the women. BMI was a strong predictor of insulin sensitivity and β-cell function and frequently associated with the physical activity measures. BMI modified the associations of insulin sensitivity and β-cell function with the physical activity measures to such extent that only VPA and total counts show direct associations with insulin sensitivity in addition to the indirect associations via BMI. Iraqi women demonstrated weaker associations compared with Swedish women.
Physical activity and performed at vigorous intensity may be important mainly for the insulin sensitivity in Iraqi immigrants and native Swedes.
Marita Södergren, Kristina Sundquist, Sven-Erik Johansson, Jan Sundquist and Maria Hagströmer
The purpose of this study was to examine the association between total self-reported health-enhancing physical activity and country of birth among women living in Sweden.
Women (age 18 to 65 years) born in Sweden, Finland, Chile, and Iraq were recruited for this cross-sectional study. Data were collected by means of a postal questionnaire including the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-long version). Self-reported physical activity data were converted to MET-minutes per week and analyzed as continuous or categorical scores. A total of 2649 women were included in the analyses. The association between physical activity and country of birth was explored using ordinal logistic regression assuming proportional odds.
The total physical activity differed significantly between the countries of birth (P < .001). Women from Finland had significant higher odds and women from Iraq had significantly lower odds for reporting higher levels of physical activity, compared with Swedish-born women.
The direction of the associations between self-reported total health-enhancing physical activity varied by country of birth, which underlines the need to examine physical activity in each minority group separately.