Cardiovascular Health in St. Louis Bosnian-Americans

Maximillian T. Bourdillon, Asad S. Akhter, Dejan Vrtikapa, Amer Avdagic, Marc A. McNeese, Richard Lee, Dawn S. Hui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Bosnia and Herzegovina, cardiovascular disease accounts for nearly 50% of deaths. Cardiovascular health of resettled Bosnian-Americans has not been well-characterized. Our study aimed to quantify cardiovascular risk in Bosnian-Americans in St. Louis, the largest non-European center of resettlement. Seven community screenings focused on Bosnian-Americans were held. Cardiovascular risk was calculated to stratify individuals into low (<10%), moderate (10–20%), and high (>20%) risk. Those with self-reported coronary heart disease (CHD) or risk equivalent were considered high-risk. Two-hundred fifty Bosnian-Americans were screened; 51% (n = 128) consented to the IRB-approved study. Twenty-one percent were smokers, 33% obese, and 33% had hypertension. Excluding risk equivalent individuals, 5.7% of subjects were high-risk, increasing to 26.6% when including high-risk equivalents. Lipid abnormalities include elevated triglycerides (29.0%) and low HDL (50.0%). Compared to general American population studies, Bosnian-Americans have greater ten-year hard CHD risk. A community-based approach identified potential culturally-based lifestyle interventions including diet, exercise, and smoking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1147-1157
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bosnian–American
  • Immigrant health cardiovascular screening
  • Predicted coronary heart disease risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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