(HealthDay News) — Worry about deportation is significantly tied to higher levels of known cardiovascular risk factors, according to a study published online in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Jacqueline M. Torres, PhD, MPH, from the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues estimated associations between worry about deportation and clinically measured cardiovascular risk factors among 545 Mexican-origin women participating in the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas study.

The researchers found that reporting a lot of worry about deportation was significantly associated with greater body mass index, greater risk of obesity, larger waist circumference, and higher pulse pressure. The associations between worry about deportation and greater body mass index, waist circumference, and pulse pressure remained significant after correcting for multiple testing at P<0.05. Moderate deportation worry was significantly associated only with greater risk of overweight and higher systolic blood pressure.

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“Worry about deportation may be an important cardiovascular risk factor for ethnic minority populations in the United States of America,” the authors write.

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