Cardiovascular issues can manifest in many forms.
As a South Asian, you are at a bigger risk of heart failure due to biological factors, diet, cholesterol levels, and more. To learn how to combat each individually, click the buttons to the right.
Genetics: People from South Asia are four times more likely to develop heart disease than the general population and have a much greater chance of having a heart attack before age 50, according to Stanford Health
Diabetes: South Asians are twice as likely to develop diabetes and have abnormal sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes increases risk for cardiovascular disease and is a flag for having heart issues. Diabetics are twice to thrice more likely to die due to cardiovascular issues, as high blood sugar affects the blood vessels.
Cholesterol levels: South Asians in the U.S. have higher levels of triglycerides (fats) and “bad” cholesterol (LDL-C), with lower levels of (HDL-C) or "good" cholesterol. That’s genetic, however, and cannot be resolved.
Hypertension: High blood pressure is another risk factor for developing heart disease, and 43 percent of men and 35 percent of women of South Asian descent are hypertensive in the U.S.
Inflammation: Research has shown that those with higher levels of inflammatory molecules are at a higher risk for heart disease. South Asians have higher levels of these inflammatory markers circulating in their blood, which indicates more overall inflammation in their bodies, leading to further vascular issues.
Diet: The typical South Asian diet has a high percentage of carbohydrates and saturated fats. Lentils, vegetables, rice, meats and breads are the mainstays, but due to religious and cultural reasons, vegetarianism is prominent. Thus, there is an absence of lean meats, meaning less protein, and an increase of fats and carbohydrates in their diets.