Date of Conferral





Public Health


James W. Gbalah


Numerous studies have revealed that immigrants' health and well-being is challenged by an increased susceptibility to diabetes/chronic disease as they settle in the United States. This study investigated a potential association between the incidence of diabetes/chronic disease and various lifestyles factors among Sub-Saharan African immigrants and refugees. The lifestyle factors studied were sociodemographics, food practices and dietary habits, access to healthcare and insurance, acculturation, and the length of stay in the United States among these immigrants and refugees residing in Minnesota. The health belief and the socioecological models guided this study to improve understanding of Sub-Saharan African's health behavior and practices. This study was a cross-sectional, quantitative inquiry using data from 71 Sub-Saharan African-born individuals (36 women and 35 men) between 18 and 65 years of age who completed a modified Metro Adult Health Survey Questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis indicated that the participants' increased length of stay in the United States (B = .33, P = .02) was significantly associated with an increased incidence of diabetes/chronic disease. In contrast, participants' acculturation in the United States (B =.09, P =.41) was not significantly associated with the incidence of diabetes/chronic disease. The implication of this study is that immigrants have increased incidence of diabetes/chronic disease with an increasing length of stay in the United States. This study contributes to positive social change by providing knowledge of African immigrant health and incidence of chronic disease useful to public health educators, practitioners and other service providers who seek new direction in improving the health and health outcomes of African-born populations.