Coronary Artery Disease
(CAD) among Asian Indians:
Asian Indians around the globe have the highest
rate of coronary artery disease (CAD) despite the fact that
nearly half of them are lifelong vegetarians. The death rates
from CAD among overseas Asian Indians have been 50% to 300%
higher than Americans, Europeans, Chinese, and Japanese, irrespective
of gender, religion, or social class. Among those younger
than 30 years of age, the CAD mortality among Asian Indians
is 3-fold higher than Whites in the United Kingdom (U.K.)
and 10-fold higher than Chinese in Singapore. The term Asian
Indian refers to all those who trace their origin to the four
countries in the Indian continent - India, Pakistan, Bangladesh,
and Sri Lanka.
India is now in the middle of a CAD epidemic with over 10%
of urban Indians having CAD, a rate similar to overseas Indians.
During the past 3 decades, the average age of a first heart
attack increased by 10 years in the U.S., but decreased by
10 years in India. About 50% of all heart attacks among Asian
Indian men occur under the age of 55 and 25% under the age
of 40, unheard of in any other population. These data underscore
the need for early, aggressive, and unconventional approaches
for the prevention and treatment of CAD in this population.
CAD is highly predictable, preventable, and treatable. Over
the past 30 years, CAD rates in most developed countries declined
by 50%. During the same period, the CAD rates doubled in India.
Indians are in double jeopardy from nature and nurture - nature
having been provided by higher levels of lipoprotein(a), and
nurture through an unhealthy lifestyle associated with affluence,
urbanization, and mechanization. Because of this genetic susceptibility,
the adverse effects of conventional risk factors related to
adverse lifestyle such as smoking, high blood pressure, high
cholesterol, and diabetes are markedly magnified. For example,
the overall rate of CAD doubled in Singapore in the last 30
years due to changes in diet and lifestyle. But the 3-fold
difference in CAD rates between Indians and Chinese was maintained.
It appears that the increase in CAD risk from a weight gain
of 10 pounds or smoking 10 cigarettes (or beedi) by Indians
is similar to a 30 pound weight gain or smoking 30 cigarettes
by other populations.
Although the conventional risk factors do not fully explain
the excess burden of CAD, these risk factors are doubly important
in Indians, and remain the principal targets for prevention
and treatment. Early adoption of daily exercise and avoiding
tobacco use is crucial. Watching the saturated fat intake
and waist size is as, if not more, important than watching
cholesterol intake and body weight. A waist circumference
of >80 cms (32 inches) in women and >90 cms (36 inches)
in men is a powerful predictor of future development of diabetes
and CAD, and warrants redoubling the exercise regimen and
cutting down on calories.
The above information is provided by CadiResearch. Dr.
Enas A. Enas, Founder ofCadiresearch has done
lots of research in this area and is one of the foremost figures
in raising the awareness for CAD among Asian Indians Worldwide.
offers various exercise programs and resources to reduce your
risk for CAD. Strength training, cardio workout and healthy
diet and nutrition are key ways to reduce your risk of contracting
Please consult your
Physician before beginning this or any other workout.