Background: Studies suggest that the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) among first generation immigrants to Western countries increases with duration of residence. We conducted a systematic review to assess the evidence for this association.
Methods: We developed search strategies for Cochrane Library, EMBASE, PubMed, and Web of Science. We screened records independently using a standardized form. We considered articles on CAD incidence, prevalence, or mortality among immigrants from non-Western countries migrating to Western countries. We excluded studies that did not adjust for traditional CAD risk factors that are not associated with immigration and acculturation.
Results: Only two studies met the inclusion criteria. Both were among South Asian immigrants, the effect of duration was modest, and study quality was intermediate. The most common reason for exclusion was lack of adjustment for other risk factors.
Discussion: There is limited evidence for an association between duration of residence and CAD risk. Longitudinal studies in diverse populations are needed to confirm these findings.