Migratory implications for coronary heart disease risk prevention in Asian Indians: evidence from the leading health indicators



Publication Details

Fernandez, R., Everett, B., Miranda, C., Rolley, J. X., Rajaratnam, R. & Davidson, P. M. (2015). Migratory implications for coronary heart disease risk prevention in Asian Indians: evidence from the leading health indicators. Journal of Cultural Diversity: an interdisciplinary journal, 22 (1), 30-38.


Objective: The objectives of this descriptive comparative study were to (1) review data obtained from the World Health Organisation Statistical Information System (WHOSIS) database relating to the prevalence of risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) among Indians and Australians and (2) compare these data with published epidemiological studies of CHD riskfactors in adult migrant Asian Indians to provide a comprehensive and comparable assessment of risk factors relating to CHD and the mortality attributable to these risk factors. Design: This study was undertaken using a database search and integrative review methodology. Data were obtained for comparison of CHD risk factors between Indians and Australians using the WHOSIS database. For the integrative review the MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases were searched using the keywords 'Migrants', 'Asian Indian', 'India', 'Migration', 'Immigration', 'Riskfactors', and coronary heart disease. Two reviewers independently assessed the eligibility of the studies for inclusion in the review, the methodological quality and extracted details of eligible studies. Results from the integrative review on CHD risk factors in Asian Indians are presented in a narrative format, along with results from the WHOSIS database. Results: The age-adjusted mortality for CHD was four times higher in migrant Asian Indians when compared to both the native population of the host country and migrants from other countries. Similarly when compared to migrants from other countries migrant Asian Indians had the highest prevalence of overweight individuals. Prevalence rates for hypercholesterolemia were up to 18.5 % among migrant Asian Indians and migrant Asian Indian women had a higher prevalence of hyper triglyceridaemia compared to Caucasian females. Migrant Asian Indians also had a higher incidence of hypertension and upto 71 % of migrant Asian Indian men did not meet current guidelines for participation in physical activity. Ethnic-specific prevalence of diabetes ranged from 6-7% among the normal weight to 19-33% among the obese migrant Asian Indians compared with non-Hispanic whites. Conclusion: Migrant Asian Indians have an increased risk of CHD. Culturally sensitive strategies that recognise the effects of migration and extend beyond the health sector should be developed to target lifestyle changes in this high risk population.

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