OBJECTIVE - To determine whether residence on the Texas-Mexico border would modify the effect of ethnic differences on risk behaviors.
DESIGN - We performed an analysis of 1999-2003 cross-sectional data from the Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
SETTING - Fifteen Texas-Mexico border counties compared with 239 Texas non-border counties.
PARTICIPANTS - 521 White and 1722 Hispanic residents of Texas-Mexico border counties and 16,904 White and 4933 Hispanic residents of Texas non-border counties.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES - Health risk behaviors including overweight, obesity, physical inactivity, fruit or vegetable consumption, heavy drinking, binge drinking, and smoking.
RESULTS - Hispanic women and men were more likely to be overweight, obese, and physically inactive, and less likely to consume fewer than five fruits or vegetables per day than Whites regardless of residence. Ethnic differences in heavy and binge drinking differed by residence and sex. After adjustment for age, educational level, annual household income, perceived general health, and diabetes, most behaviors that were higher or lower remained significant among non-border residents but were no longer significant among border residents.
CONCLUSIONS - The only evidence of effect modification was binge drinking among males and most associations were weaker among border residents than among non-border residents.