Men from Indian Subcontinent More Prone to Heart Disease than U.S-Born Peers: Study

Women from Europe and men from Africa and South America had the lowest stroke rates compared to those born in the United States, the study found.


People who were born in other countries and later moved to the United States have a lower risk of stroke and heart disease than residents born in America, according to a recent research. However, Indian subcontinent–born men were found to have a significantly higher risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) than U.S.-born Asian men.

Men and women from Asia, the Caribbean, Central American and Mexico had the lowest rates of heart disease, and men from the Indian subcontinent and Europe had the highest heart disease rates, the research led by Dr. Jing Fang of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta found.

Women from Europe and men from Africa and South America had the lowest stroke rates as compared to those born in the United States.

The risk of stroke among women born in South America and the Indian subcontinent is not very different from that for women born in the United States once they had spent some years in America, the study found. However, India-born men had 89 per cent higher risk of CHD than U.S.-born Asian men.

Asian Americans had the higher mortality rate from cerebrovascular disease than non-Hispanic whites while Asian Indians had higher mortality burden from coronary heart disease.

More than 8 per cent men and almost 5 per cent women among those born in the United States have heart diseases as compared to 5.5 per cent male and more than 4 per cent female immigrants.

“People who immigrate, they seem to be healthier than those who decide to stay in their home country,” said Dr. Fang, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the lead author of the study.

United States-born men and women have a higher rate of stroke, at 2.7 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively, compared to 2.1 per cent and 1.9 per cent of foreign-born men and women, respectively.

The duration of their stay in the United States had no effect on the rate of stroke or heart disease, the study found.

“Our first thought was that the longer people live in the United States, they will have more problems than recent immigrants,” Fang said, according to HealthReporter.

However, researchers noted that the data was self-reported. Dr. Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, who wasn’t involved in the research and studies cardiovascular health in immigrants at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore, said that only about 45 per cent of the participants from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean had health insurance, compared to about 86 per cent of the native-born, which could lead to lower reporting.

“Heart disease may be a process that takes years and may be undiagnosed, so I’m concerned that a high percentage of these foreign-born individuals may have undiagnosed conditions,” Commodore-Mensah told Reuters. She also added that the study didn’t account for those who return to the origin country or another country for medical care.

According to another research, South Asians living in the United States were more likely to have Type 2 diabetes due to food habits than their Caucasian counterparts.

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