Premature Coronary Heart Disease in South Asians: Burden and Determinants

Sarah T. Ahmed, Hasan Rehman, Julia M. Akeroyd, Mahboob Alam, Tina Shah, Ankur Kalra, Salim S. Virani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of Review: While the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is on the decline globally, it is on the rise among South Asians. South Asians are also believed to present early with coronary artery disease (CAD) compared with other ethnicities. Recent Findings: South Asians have demonstrated a higher burden of premature CAD (PCAD) compared with other ethnicities. These findings are not limited to non-immigrant South Asians but have also been found in immigrant South Asians settled around the world. In this article, we first discuss studies evaluating PCAD among South Asians residing in South Asia and among South Asian immigrants in other countries. We then discuss several traditional risk factors that could explain PCAD in South Asians (diabetes, hypertension, dietary factors, obesity) and lipoprotein-associated risk (low HDL-C levels, higher triglycerides, and elevated apolipoprotein B levels). We then discuss several emerging areas of research among South Asians including the role of dysfunctional HDL, elevated lipoprotein(a), genetics, and epigenetics. Although various risk markers and risk factors of CAD have been identified in South Asians, how they impact therapy is not well-known. Summary: PCAD is prevalent in the South Asian population. Large-scale studies are needed to identify how this information can be rationally utilized for early identification of risk among South Asians, and how currently available therapies can mitigate this increased risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalCurrent Atherosclerosis Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Premature CAD
  • Premature CHD
  • South Asia


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