People of Indian, Pakistani or Chinese origin, who are planning to move to Scotland, might have to think twice, for a new study has found that Asians who come to live in the European country are at a greater risk of damaging their heart health.
The study by Edinburgh University and NHS National Services Scotland suggests that Indians, Pakistanis and Chinese adopt the same bad lifestyle habits, such as poor diet, as Scots when they move to Scotland, thus boosting their risk of heart disease.
AdvertisementHowever, the same doesn't apply to the English people living in Scotland, for they have a 20 per cent lower chance of dying from heart disease than those born north of the border.
Dr Colin Fischbacher, a public health medicine consultant, and his colleagues studied the death certificates of Scottish residents aged over 25 who died between 1997 and 2003.
They found that English people living in Scotland had a 25 per cent lower death rate than Scottish-born residents, and a 22 per cent lower death rate from heart disease.
However, they also discovered that Scots of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Chinese origin are as likely to suffer heart disease as the general Scottish population.
Dr Fischbacher said that people from India and China typically had a low risk of developing heart disease or stroke.
However, he added "by adopting a Scottish lifestyle, taking less exercise and eating less healthily, they may be putting themselves at greater risk of these conditions."
The results also showed that men born in Pakistan but living in Scotland had a 1 per cent higher rate of heart disease deaths than Scottish-born men and 30 per cent higher than men living in England.
Dr Fischbacher said such ethnic groups were likely to have higher rates of diabetes and were prone to abdominal obesity, factors that could make boost heart disease risk when they adopt unhealthy lifestyles.
Dr Mike Knapton, from the British Heart Foundation, said the research "underlines the need to better untangle the relationship between our genes, our biology and our environment".
"Research to provide answers to these questions will help us to tackle the preventable health inequalities of geography and ethnicity," he added.
Scotland has been branded heart attack capital of the UK. A British Heart Foundation survey earlier this year found an attack is suffered every 15 minutes, and 10 percent of Scots are believed to be living with some form of heart or circulatory disease.