The Cardiometabolic Health of African Immigrants in High-Income Countries: A Systematic Review

Danielle Mensah, Oluwabunmi Ogungbe, Ruth Alma N. Turkson-Ocran, Chioma Onuoha, Samuel Byiringiro, Nwakaego A. Nmezi, Ivy Mannoh, Elisheva Wecker, Ednah N. Madu, Yvonne Commodore-Mensah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In recent decades, the number of African immigrants in high-income countries (HICs) has increased significantly. However, the cardiometabolic health of this population remains poorly examined. Thus, we conducted a systematic review to examine the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors among sub-Saharan African immigrants residing in HICs. Studies were identified through searches in electronic databases including PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane, Scopus, and Web of Science up to July 2021. Data on the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors were extracted and synthesized in a narrative format, and a meta-analysis of pooled proportions was also conducted. Of 8655 unique records, 35 articles that reported data on the specific African countries of origin of African immigrants were included in the review. We observed heterogeneity in the burden of cardiometabolic risk factors by African country of origin and HIC. The most prevalent risk factors were hypertension (27%, range: 6–55%), overweight/obesity (59%, range: 13–91%), and dyslipidemia (29%, range: 11–77.2%). The pooled prevalence of diabetes was 11% (range: 5–17%), and 7% (range: 0.7–14.8%) for smoking. Few studies examined kidney disease, hyperlipidemia, and diagnosed cardiometabolic disease. Policy changes and effective interventions are needed to improve the cardiometabolic health of African immigrants, improve care access and utilization, and advance health equity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7959
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • African ancestry group
  • cardiovascular risk factors
  • immigrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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