Risk for Atherosclerotic CVD Increased With South Asian Ancestry

Individuals with South Asian ancestry have an increased risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease compared with those with European ancestry, according to a study published online July 12 in Circulation.

Aniruddh P. Patel, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined 8,124 middle-aged participants of South Asian ancestry and 449,349 of European ancestry within the U.K. Biobank prospective cohort study who were free of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease at the time of enrollment. The relationship of ancestry to risk for incident atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease was assessed.

The researchers found that 6.8 percent of individuals of South Asian ancestry and 4.4 percent of individuals of European ancestry experienced an atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease event during a median follow-up of 11 years, corresponding to an adjusted hazard ratio of 2.03. This higher relative risk was generally consistent across age, sex, and clinical subgroups. The predicted 10-year risk for cardiovascular disease based on the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Pooled Cohort equations and QRISK3 equations was almost identical for individuals of South Asian and European ancestry, despite the higher observed risk. The observed hazard ratio was modestly attenuated to 1.45 after adjustment for a broad range of clinical, anthropometric, and lifestyle risk factors.

“Our current tools do not help us predict this extra risk in the South Asian population, likely because no South Asians were included in developing the U.S. tool, so we may be missing opportunities to prevent heart attacks and strokes in this group,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Intensive control of risk factors like high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes are even more important in this population.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to biopharmaceutical and information technology companies, including IBM Research, which provided funding support.

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