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Ethnic groups show different cardiovascular risk profiles: Chinese have lowest levels of heart disease while South Asians have highest

Date:
April 19, 2010
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
There are striking differences in the cardiovascular risk profiles of four ethnic groups -- white, Chinese, South Asian and black -- living in Ontario, Canada, a new study finds.

There are striking differences in the cardiovascular risk profiles of four ethnic groups -- white, Chinese, South Asian and black -- living in Ontario, Canada, found a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

This is the first published study to compare cardiovascular risk factors and heart disease across four ethnic groups living in the same macro-environment with similar access to health care. It compared the prevalence of eight cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, obesity and others and the prevalence of heart disease and stroke in 163 797 white, Chinese, South Asian and black people living in Ontario. It also examined prevalence estimates by age and sex to identify subgroups at highest risk. The study was funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The researchers found that the Chinese population had the lowest overall prevalence of heart disease (3.2%) and stroke (0.6%) while South Asians had the highest prevalence (5.2% and 1.7%). Despite having the least desirable cardiovascular risk profile, the black population had a relatively low prevalence of heart disease (3.4%). Smoking and obesity were more common in the white population while the South Asian and black populations had the highest levels of diabetes and hypertension.

Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, are the leading causes of death worldwide. Evidence from mortality studies suggests that the burden of these diseases differs across nations. Previous studies have been conducted in different environments with different health care systems and differing rates of access to health care.

"Despite universal access to health care, ethnic groups living in Ontario, differed markedly in their cardiovascular risk profiles," writes Ms. Maria Chiu and Dr. Jack Tu, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), Toronto, Ontario, and coauthors. "Awareness of these differences will become increasingly important as ethnic minority groups come to represent a larger proportion of the Canadian population."

The authors note that the rates of smoking in Chinese (8.7%) and South Asian (8.6%) residents of Ontario are significantly lower than in China (28.9%) and India (15.6%).

They conclude that there may be a need to develop ethnically tailored strategies for preventing cardiovascular risk factors in Canada.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Chiu, P. C. Austin, D. G. Manuel, J. V. Tu. Comparison of cardiovascular risk profiles among ethnic groups using population health surveys between 1996 and 2007. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2010; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.091676

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Ethnic groups show different cardiovascular risk profiles: Chinese have lowest levels of heart disease while South Asians have highest." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419132349.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2010, April 19). Ethnic groups show different cardiovascular risk profiles: Chinese have lowest levels of heart disease while South Asians have highest. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419132349.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Ethnic groups show different cardiovascular risk profiles: Chinese have lowest levels of heart disease while South Asians have highest." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419132349.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

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