Aims: Filipino people are one of the largest immigrant populations in Italy. Aim of this study was to assess differences in T2D, prediabetes and obesity between native Italians and Filipino immigrants living in Rome. Changes in metabolic characteristics and dietary habits between first-generation immigrants and their descendants were examined.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out adopting principles of community-based participatory research. A total of 132 first-generation Filipinos aged 35-60 years resident in Rome for ≥ 5 years, 164 age and sex-matched native Italians and 27 descendants of the first-generation immigrants aged 10-18 years were studied. Diabetes history and dietary habits were investigated by standardized questionnaires; anthropometrics, blood pressure and fasting capillary blood glucose were measured.
Results: T2D, impaired fasting glucose and obesity were all more prevalent among first-generation immigrants (13.5%, 35.4% and 41.7% respectively) than Italians (7.2%, 22.6% and 36.8%). Descendants showed higher prevalence of overweight and obesity (48.1%) than first-generation immigrants (p<0.05). First-generation immigrants consumed traditional food more days per week compared to their descendants, who preferred western food, with a large consumption (>4 times/week) of eggs (96%), processed meat (74%) and sweet foods or beverages (96%). Body Mass Index was directly related to years spent in Italy (r=0.19, p=0.03) and educational level (r=0.19, p=0.04). Size of household was directly related to weight gain in first-generation immigrant women (r=0.40, p<0.001).
Conclusion: This survey reveals a higher prevalence of diabetes and its risk factors among the Filipino community resident in Rome. Obesity prevalence is higher in the second-generation, probably due to unhealthy changes in dietary pattern. These alarming data stress the need of appropriate health programs addressed to the minority groups immigrating in western countries.
S. Pieralice: None. R. Del Toro: None. Y. Khazrai: None. E. Maddaloni: Speaker's Bureau; Self; Merck & Co., Inc., Pikdare. A. Maurizi: Consultant; Self; AstraZeneca. S. Manfrini: None. P. Pozzilli: None.