A prospective cohort study of dietary patterns of non-western migrants in the Netherlands in relation to risk factors for cardiovascular diseases: HELIUS-Dietary Patterns

Dekker, Louise H.; Snijder, Marieke B.; Beukers, Marja H.; de Vries, Jeanne H. M.; Brants, Henny A. M.; de Boer, Evelien J.; van Dam, Rob M.; Stronks, Karien; Nicolaou, Mary
January 2011
BMC Public Health;2011 Supplement 4, Vol. 11 Issue Suppl 4, p441
Academic Journal
Background: In Western countries the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is often higher in non-Western migrants as compared to the host population. Diet is an important modifiable determinant of CVD. Increasingly, dietary patterns rather than single nutrients are the focus of research in an attempt to account for the complexity of nutrient interactions in foods. Research on dietary patterns in non-Western migrants is limited and may be hampered by a lack of validated instruments that can be used to assess the habitual diet of non-western migrants in large scale epidemiological studies. The ultimate aims of this study are to (1) understand whether differences in dietary patterns explain differences in CVD risk between ethnic groups, by developing and validating ethnic-specific Food Frequency Questionnaires (FFQs), and (2) to investigate the determinants of these dietary patterns. This paper outlines the design and methods used in the HELIUS-Dietary Patterns study and describes a systematic approach to overcome difficulties in the assessment and analysis of dietary intake data in ethnically diverse populations. Methods/Design: The HELIUS-Dietary Patterns study is embedded in the HELIUS study, a Dutch multi-ethnic cohort study. After developing ethnic-specific FFQs, we will gather data on the habitual intake of 5000 participants (18-70 years old) of ethnic Dutch, Surinamese of African and of South Asian origin, Turkish or Moroccan origin. Dietary patterns will be derived using factor analysis, but we will also evaluate diet quality using hypothesis-driven approaches. The relation between dietary patterns and CVD risk factors will be analysed using multiple linear regression analysis. Potential underlying determinants of dietary patterns like migration history, acculturation, socioeconomic factors and lifestyle, will be considered. Discussion: This study will allow us to investigate the contribution of the dietary patterns on CVD risk factors in a multi-ethnic population. Inclusion of five ethnic groups residing in one setting makes this study highly innovative as confounding by local environment characteristics is limited. Heterogeneity in the study population will provide variance in dietary patterns which is a great advantage when studying the link between diet and disease.


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