Dyslipidemia in South Asians living in a western community

Published:December 15, 2008DOI:


      An increased prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) has been well documented in the South Asian population living worldwide. The prevalence of certain traditional CHD risk factors, like diabetes mellitus and tobacco use, have been on the rise in this ethnic group and likely contribute to the increase in CHD prevalence. Still, a disproportionate excess of CHD exists, and this may be linked to novel CHD risk factors. We have reviewed the prevalence of CHD in South Asians and its association to both traditional and novel CHD risk factors. We present a literature review of traditional and novel CHD risk factors, and incorporate the results of a cross-sectional study investigating the prevalence of these factors in a South Asian population residing in the United States with no prior diagnosis of CHD. The total cholesterol (TC) (mean ± standard deviation) was 193.72 ± 33.76 mg/dL, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) was 42.20 ± 12.11 mg/dL, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) was 124.88 ± 27.22 mg/dL. The mean triglyceride level was 166.60 mg/dL. The prevalence of elevated TC (>200 mg/dL) was 41.3% and elevated LDL (>130 mg/dL) 40.7%. There was a significant difference between men and women in the prevalence of reduced HDL (<40 mg/dL) (67.3% vs. 49.4%), elevated triglycerides (>130 mg/dL) (56.4 vs. 30.4%), and small-dense LDL particles (53.6% vs. 27.8%).
      Considerably higher prevalence of novel CHD risk factors has been noted in the South Asian population. The CHD risk may increase significantly when these novel factors co-exist with traditional CHD risk factors.


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