All populations of the Indian subcontinent
( India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka,  Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldeves and Afghanistan) who have a common ancestry and are commonly referred to as "South Asians".
  • South Asians comprise 60 percent of the world’s heart disease patients.
  • South Asians have the highest death rate from heart disease in the U.S. compared to other ethnic groups.
  •  South Asians have a higher burden of cardiovascular risk factors at younger ages.
  • In India, heart disease is the leading cause of death accounting for 39% of all deaths since 2005. 




To provide a centralized web resource to share current health research and clinical guidelines related to cardiovascular disease in South Asians.

Prevention Guidelines provides important targets for South Asians  based on years of clinical research, that are different from guidelines for white Caucasians. These specific South Asians guidelines unfortunately are often overlooked by the medical community.

Contributors of this website are eastern and western educated physicians in clinical practice with expertise in researching and treating cardiovascular disease in the  South Asian community.

Thank you  for your attention.


  Pravien K. Khanna MD MPH FACC FSCAI
  Editor in Chief

Disclaimer:  One should not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your own physician. After reviewing the information posted here, always consult with your personal physician prior to making clinical ecisions.  Questions posted to specific personal medical conditions will not be answered. 


Cardiovascular Disease & Cancer Risk Among South Asians: Impact of Sociocultural Influences on Lifestyle and Behavior.
Journal of Immigrant Minor Health: May 2017

A complete literature review revealed cultural beliefs, societal obligations, and gender roles within the South Asian community to be indirect contributors to the health of South Asian immigrants (SAIs). Health professionals need to increase their work with SAI communities to change less beneficial cultural elements such as misconceptions about health and exercise, and lack of communication when using alternative medicines. Community engaged efforts and continuing medical education are both needed to improve the health of the South Asian immigrant population in a culturally appropriate manner.

An Examination of Stroke Risk and Burden in South Asians.
Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease.  June 2017

South Asians (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan) are at a disproportionately higher risk of stroke and heart disease due to their cardiometabolic profile. Despite evidence for a strong association between diabetes and stroke, and growing stroke risk in this ethnic minority-notwithstanding reports of higher stroke mortality irrespective of country of residence-the explanation for the excess risk of stroke remains unknown.

Effect of Cardiac Rehabilitation on South Asian Individuals With Cardiovascular Disease: Results From the APPROACH Registry.
Canadian Journal of Cardiology: October 2016

Study explored the effects of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) on South Asian (SA) compared with European Canadians with coronary artery disease (CAD). Overall, referral rates to CR remains low but attendance appears higher in SA patients. Among those who attended CR, there is a strong association with improved survival irrespective of ethnic status. In SA patients with CAD, attendance and completion of CR should be strongly endorsed because of its incremental benefit.

Acculturation and Subclinical Atherosclerosis among U.S. South Asians: Findings from the MASALA study.
Journal of Clin and Exp. Research in Cardiology 2014 Jun 23: 1 (1) : 102.

A landmark study following south Asians living in San Francisco and Chicago to investigate reasons for higher levels of subclinical atherosclerosis after controlling for socioeconomic, behavior/lifestyle, and cardiovascular risk factors. Study on going.   

Kandula et al. "The South Asian Heart Lifestyle Intervention (SAHELI) study to improve cardiovascular risk factor in communituy setting: Design & methods."
Contemp Clin Trials 2013 Sep 21;36(2):479-487

Reseachers at Northwestern University have developed a pilot study to investigate the efficacy of a community based intervention program for South Asians. Patients with at least one CVD risk factor will be randomized to lifestyle intervention vs control. Results will provide important data on lifestyle interventions as a tool to reduce CVD in South Asians.

Coronary artery disease in South Asian immigrants living in New York City: angiographic findings and risk factor burdens.
Ethnicity & Disease  2013 Summer;23(3):292-5.

Our colleagues at Mt. Sinai reviewed cardiac risk factors and angiograms of 520 South Asians and 219 Caucasians consecutively referred with stable angina pectoris or acute coronary syndrome. Found South Asians were younger, have significantly higher rates of 3-vessel disease, as well as higher rates of DM, hypertension, obesity and dyslipidemia than Caucasians.  Aggreed with current literature and recommended aggressive screening, prevention and treatment in this population.

Mehta et al. "Obesity & Dyslipidemia in South Asians." 

 July 16, 2013 ;5(7):2708-33

A review paper addressing obesity and dyslipidemia as emerging public health challenges in South Asian countries. Findings include the prevalence of obesity is more in urban areas than rural, and women are more affected than men.  Higher magnitude of insulin resistance, and its concomitant metabolic disorders (the metabolic syndrome). Increasing obesity and dyslipidemia in South Asians is primarily driven by nutrition, lifestyle and demographic transitions, increasingly faulty diets and physical inactivity, in the background of genetic predisposition.

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