Length of urban residence and obesity among within-country rural-to-urban Andean migrants

Daniel A. Antiporta, Liam Smeeth, Robert H. Gilman, J. Jaime Miranda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To evaluate the association between length of residence in an urban area and obesity among Peruvian rural-to-urban migrants. Design Cross-sectional database analysis of the migrant group from the Peru MIGRANT Study (2007). Exposure was length of urban residence, analysed as both a continuous (10-year units) and a categorical variable. Four skinfold site measurements (biceps, triceps, subscapular and suprailiac) were used to calculate body fat percentage and obesity (body fat percentage >25% males, >33% females). We used Poisson generalized linear models to estimate adjusted prevalence ratios and 95 % confidence intervals. Multicollinearity between age and length of urban residence was assessed using conditional numbers and correlation tests. Setting A peri-urban shantytown in the south of Lima, Peru. Subjects Rural-to-urban migrants (n 526) living in Lima. Results Multivariable analyses showed that for each 10-year unit increase in residence in an urban area, rural-to-urban migrants had, on average, a 12 % (95 % CI 6, 18 %) higher prevalence of obesity. This association was also present when length of urban residence was analysed in categories. Sensitivity analyses, conducted with non-migrant groups, showed no evidence of an association between 10-year age units and obesity in rural (P=0·159) or urban populations (P=0·078). High correlation and a large conditional number between age and length of urban residence were found, suggesting a strong collinearity between both variables. Conclusions Longer lengths of urban residence are related to increased obesity in rural-to-urban migrant populations; therefore, interventions to prevent obesity in urban areas may benefit from targeting migrant groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1270-1278
Number of pages9
JournalPublic health nutrition
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Migration
  • Nutritional epidemiology
  • Obesity
  • Peru
  • Rural-to-urban
  • Skinfold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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