Bi-cultural dynamics for risk and protective factors for cardiometabolic health in an Alaska Native (Yup'ik) population.


Alaska Native people experience disparities in mortality from heart disease and stroke. This work attempts to better understand the relationships between socioeconomic, behavioral, and cardiometabolic risk factors among Yup'ik people of southwestern Alaska, with a focus on the role of the socioeconomic, and cultural components. Using a cross-sectional sample of 486 Yup'ik adults, we fitted a Partial Least Squares Path Model (PLS-PM) to assess the associations between components, including demographic factors [age and gender], socioeconomic factors [education, economic status, Yup'ik culture, and Western culture], behavioral factors [diet, cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use, and physical activity], and cardiometabolic risk factors [adiposity, triglyceride-HDL and LDL lipids, glycemia, and blood pressure]. We found relatively mild associations of education and economic status with cardiometabolic risk factors, in contrast with studies in other populations. The socioeconomic factor and participation in Yup'ik culture had potentially protective associations with adiposity, triglyceride-HDL lipids, and blood pressure, whereas participation in Western culture had a protective association with blood pressure. We also found a moderating effect of participation in Western culture on the relationships between Yup'ik culture participation and both blood pressure and LDL lipids, indicating a potentially beneficial additional effect of bi-culturalism. Our results suggest that reinforcing protective effects of both Yup'ik and Western cultures could be useful for interventions aimed at reducing cardiometabolic health disparities.

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