Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cardiac health risks and resources for South Asians

Excerpt from an email forwarded by Ajay naana.

1.Regardless of gender, social class or location people from the Indian sub-continent have the world's highest rates of heart disease. This is true even when they have low traditional risk factors.

2.Even non-smoking vegetarians under 40 who exercise regularly are often at high risk.

3.Risk factors are more harmful to Indians than to others.

4.In heart disease terms: 1 cigarette smoked by an Indian is equivalent to 3 smoked by a non-Indian. 30-point rise in cholesterol is equivalent to 90-point rise in people of other ethnicities. 10 pound gained by an Indian equals 30 pounds gained by others.

Resources: Bay Area has a South Asian Heart Center located in El Camino Medical Hospital. You can sign up for screening with them. This is very important. Traditional cholesterol tests are inadequate for South Asians because they do not go beyond HDL/LDL breakup. The emerging risk factors are things like Homocysteine level, C-Reactive Protein, Lipoprotein(a) which are responsible for arterial damage.

Desirable results for South Asians:
Total Cholesterol Less Than 150

Good cholesterol Greater Than 40
Bad cholesterol Less Than 100

Triglycerides Less Than 150

Resources : Southasianheartcenter

Address: South Asian Heart Center, El Camino Hospital, Park Pavilion, Ground Floor,
2400 Grant Road Mountain View, CA 94040.
Phone: 650.940.SAHC (650.940.7242)
Fax: 650.966.9269

There is an excellent book written on the subject – " How to beat the heart disease epidemic among South Asians: A prevention and management guide for Asian Indians and their doctors" – By Dr. Enas A. Enas with Dr. Sudesh Kannan

After reading chapter 1 (available as free download), I found that it completely lives up to its title.

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is a Global Epidemic among South Asians. CAD strikes South Asians at a four-fold rate compared to the general population. This holds true even for lifelong vegetarians who do not smoke and are not overweight.

10-12% of the South Asian population in urban areas globally and 4% in rural areas are afflicted with this disease.

By 2010, India will bear 60% of the worlds CAD burden. CAD strikes South Asians at a Younger Age, almost 33% earlier

South Asians in the United States and in urban India suffer heart attacks at an earlier age, often without prior symptoms or warning.

A study among Asian Indian men showed that half of all heart attacks in this population occur under the age of 50 years, and 25% under the age of 40.

CAD strikes South Asians Fatally. More than 30% of deaths from heart attacks in South Asians occur in those younger than 65 years of age, a rate double that of the U.S. national average.

British Heart Foundation statistics show that the death rate from coronary heart disease is 46% higher in South Asian men and 51% higher in South Asian women than the UK population as a whole. CAD is not Just a Disease for South Asian Men. South Asian women also have one of the highest mortality rates due to CAD. Recent findings from the 1990-2000 California Census data showed that all ethnic minority women were living longer except South Asian women. California Statistics: Asian Indians have the highest rates of hospitalization in California for CAD. At El Camino Hospital alone, over the past two years, a significant 5% of the patients that walked into the ER with a heart attack were South Asian, while the South Asian population of the area is just over 3%.