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There are few longitudinal studies about South Asians (SAs) and little information about recruitment and retention approaches for this ethnic group.
We followed 906 SAs enrolled in the Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America (MASALA) cohort for 5 years. Surviving participants were invited for a second clinical exam from 2015 to 2018. A new wave of participants was recruited during 2017–2018. We assessed the yields from different methods of recruitment and retention.
A total of 759 (83%) completed the second clinical exam, and 258 new participants were enrolled. Providing a nearby community hospital location for the study exam, offering cab/shared ride reimbursement, and conducting home visits were the most effective methods for enhancing retention. New participant recruitment targeted women and individuals with lower socioeconomic status, and we found that participant referrals and active community engagement were most effective. Mailing invitational letters to those identified by electronic health records had very low yield.
Recruitment and retention strategies that address transportation barriers and increase community engagement will help increase the representation of SAs in health research.
To examine whether nutrient and food intakes among South Asian adult immigrants differ by length of residence in the USA.
Cross-sectional analysis to examine differences in nutrient and food intakes by length of residence in the USA. Dietary data were collected using an interviewer-administered, culturally appropriate FFQ, while self-reported length of residence was assessed using a questionnaire and modelled as tertiles.
The Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America (MASALA) study.
Eight hundred and seventy-four South Asians (mean age=55 (sd 9) years; 47 % women; range of length of residence in the USA=2–58 years), part of the baseline examination of the MASALA study.
Intakes of fat, including saturated and trans fats, dietary cholesterol and n-6 fatty acids, were directly associated with length of residence, while intakes of energy, carbohydrate, glycaemic index and load, protein, dietary fibre, folate and K were inversely associated with length of residence (P trend <0·05). A longer length of residence in the USA was also associated with higher intakes of alcoholic beverages, mixed dishes including pizza and pasta, fats and oils, and lower intakes of beans and lentils, breads, grains and flour products, milk and dairy products, rice, starchy vegetables and sugar, candy and jam (P for differences across groups <0·05).
Length of residence in the USA influences diet and nutrient intakes among South Asian adult immigrants and should be considered when investigating and planning dietary interventions to mitigate chronic disease risk.
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