New research by the British Heart Foundation says that British Asians are at least 50 percent more likely to fall a victim to heart disease than people of European origin. One in five has also developed type 2 diabetes as compared to 3 percent of the general population in the UK.
Of immediate concern are the high rates of untreated diabetes, abnormal cholesterol levels and high blood pressure amongst South East Asians in the UK, said lead author Professor Paul Durrington, from the University of Manchester. The good news is that the final outcomes of cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack and stroke, could be reduced significantly by identifying and addressing risk factors earlier on. Professor Sudhesh Kumar, of the University of Warwick agreed with the findings and said Asians were most likely to have a bigger waist circumference, which predisposes them to heart disease, If you are an Asian woman and have a waist circumference of more than 80cm or a man with a waist circumference of 90cm you are at greater risk of heart disease and diabetes and should seek advice from a healthcare professional, he said. Healthcare professionals should be aware of the lower risk thresholds for their South Asian patients. The University of Warwick and South Warwickshire Primary Care Trust are working with local communities to spread awareness about the problems, Diabetes can lead to devastating health problems, including heart disease and stroke, said Zoe Harrison, of the charity Diabetes UK. As people from the South Asian communities are up to six times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than the white population, we welcome any initiative which can help raise awareness among the Asian communities and curb the current epidemic.