Indians and other South Asians at double risk of heart disease compared to Europeans: US study

New Delhi: Indians and other South Asians are twice as likely to develop heart disease as those of European descent, according to a new US study.

The study by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital also noted that risk assessment calculators – which are used to guide decisions about the prevention or treatment of heart disease – do not account for this increased risk of disease. among South Asians, who represent a quarter of the world. population.

For the study, the team assessed data from UK Biobank, a UK-based study that has been studying the contribution of genetic predisposition and environmental exposure to disease development since 2006.

Researchers looked at data from people who did not have atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease when they enrolled in the study between 2006 and 2010. Atherosclerosis is the buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances in the study. and on the walls of the arteries, which could eventually lead to heart attacks or strokes.

There were 8,124 participants of South Asian ancestry and 4,499,349 of European ancestry included in this analysis, who were followed for an average of 11 years.

Researchers compared the rates of development of cardiovascular diseases, such as a heart attack, stroke, or intervention to restore normal blood supply to the heart, in people of South Asian descent to those of descent. European.

They found that 6.8% of participants of South Asian descent had had an event of cardiovascular disease, while 4.4% of those of European descent reported such events.

According to the study, published in the review Circulation On Monday, that represents a risk more than twice as high for people of South Asian descent.

The researchers noted that the high risk factor was surprising because much of it remains unexplained.

“We were surprised at the magnitude of the increased risk – even in contemporary clinical practice it was more than double – and how much it remains unexplained by traditional clinical or lifestyle risk factors”, Amit V. Khera, cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said in a statement.

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Clinical tools in US and Europe fail to capture increased risk factor for South Asians

The study also pointed out that clinical estimators used in the United States or Europe to assess the risk of heart disease did not capture the increased risk factor of South Asians, identified by the study.

“Based on previous studies, we expected South Asians to have higher rates of heart disease. the main authors of the study.

He also explained that these risk assessment calculators in the United States do not take into account the increased risk to South Asians, as no South Asians were included in the development of the tool.

“We need to dig deeper to better understand why South Asians have heart attacks and strokes at higher rates, even after taking these (lifestyle) risk factors into account,” Aniruddh said P. Patel, lead author of the study and cardiology researcher in Massachusetts. General hospital.

Khera and her colleagues assembled a team of international researchers to aggregate the data and expertise needed to develop new genetic risk estimators for South Asian individuals.

(Edited by Rachel John)

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