‘North, South Indian, Pakistani Americans more prone to cardiovascular disease’

Hypertension highest in North Indians, diabetes and obesity prevalence highest in Pakistanis: MASALA Study

South Asians in the United States particularly North and South Indian and Pakistani Americans have disproportionately high burden of cardiovascular disease compared to other race/ethnic groups, according to a new study.

Unadjusted diabetes (33%) and obesity prevalence (48%) was highest in Pakistani participants, according to the Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America (MASALA) study published in the American Heart Journal.

Hypertension prevalence was highest in North Indian participants (54%); dyslipidemia prevalence was highest in South Indian and Pakistani participants (55%).

South Indian participants had higher odds of dyslipidemia compared with North Indian participants in fully adjusted models, according to the study by six Indian American researchers.

Read: ‘South Asians at four-times greater risk of heart disease’ (September 11, 2021)

“As differences in cardiovascular risk factors were observed across South Asian American subgroups, identifying the determinants of suboptimal cardiovascular health within South Asian American subgroups may help to better tailor cardiovascular disease prevention strategies,” the study suggested.

As South Asians are a heterogenous population, the study evaluated differences in prevalence and adjusted odds of cardiovascular risk factors including diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and obesity between North Indian, South Indian, and Pakistani immigrants in the United States.

Given cultural differences among residents of Indian regions, for example in dietary patterns, the study further categorized Indian participants as North or South Indian.

The study was conducted with 1,018 participants (728 North Indian [47% women], 223 South Indian [43% women], 67 Pakistani [52% women]).

The study was conducted by Neha K.Reddy, Unjali P.Gujral and Nilay S.Shah of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, Vaidehi Kaushal of Austin Dell Medical School, Austin, Texas, Alka M.Kanaya of Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia and Namratha R.Kandula of University of California – San Francisco. Reddy and Kaushal were listed as first co-authors

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