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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25-33

Cardiometabolic risks in India

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Lillehei Heart Institute, University of Minnesota, Minnesota, USA; Founder CEO, South Asian Society on Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis, Division of Clinical and Preventive Cardiology, Medanta Hospitals, Gurugram, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Gundu H R Rao
12500 Park Potomac Ave, Unit 306 N, Potomac, MD

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JCPC.JCPC_39_18

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In a recent article in this journal, we discussed diabetes and Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks in Indians living abroad. The article was written to complement the information that was published by an elite group of the American Heart Association (AHA);-”the council members of the various subcommittees.” In the journal Circulation, AHA published a scientific statement about the CVD risk of Indians living in the USA. In the June issue of the journal PLoS Medicine, The George Institute for Global Health (GIGH), Sydney, Australia, with collaborators from; Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, USA; Department of Economics, University of Gottingen, Heidelberg University, Germany; School of Public Health Johannesburg, South Africa; King's College London, UK, Indian Institute of Public Health, and Public Health Foundation of India, have published a one of a kind article on, “Geographic and sociodemographic variation of CVD disease risk in India: A cross-sectional study of 797,540 adults.” I am writing this article, as a complement to the topic reviewed by the George Institutes of Global Health and associates and other expert groups. The specific objectives of this academic exercise by the GIGH were, to determine how the CVD risk- and the factors that determine risk varies among states in India, by rural-urban location, and by individual-level sociodemographic characteristics. Rajeev Gupta and associates from Jaipur, under the aegis of South Asian Society on Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis, did a study in 2012, on “Regional variations in CVD risk in India: India heart watch.” The researchers found a wide regional variation in CVD mortality. They concluded, “that although no nationwide study of risk factors exists, there were significant state-level and rural-urban level differences in major CVD risk factors such as smoking, obesity, central adiposity, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes. They also stressed the need for uniform protocols, to assess the regional differences. Whereas, the report by the GIGH Collaborators group, did pooled analysis of CVD risk for 797,540 adults across India, and identified important variation in risk among individuals living in different States. According to them, CVD risk was the highest in the northern (Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand), northeastern (West Bengal, Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram), and Southern States (Kerala, Andhra Pradesh) of India. CVD risk was found to be higher in urban areas, that too among males, while mean body mass index was higher among wealthy, blood glucose, high systolic blood pressure was common in poor people of middle and older age. We have access to data from three important studies, related to the variation of CVD risk in Indians living in India, as well as abroad. It is high time, that we use these data to develop guidelines, guidance statements, novel clinical studies for validating safety and efficacy of complementary therapies for early risk factors such as oxidative stress, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction, put together integrated noninvasive diagnostic platforms for risk assessment, risk prediction, and reduction or reversal of metabolic diseases. Having said that, I would like to emphasize the need for a national platform, to address the issues related to this very important public health problem, and to coordinate the prevention strategies.

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