Coronary heart disease in Indian Asians
The Indian Asian population accounts for a fifth of all global deaths from coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD deaths on the Indian subcontinent have doubled since 1990, and are predicted to rise a further 50% by 2030. Reasons underlying the increased CHD mortality among Indian Asians remain unknown. Although conventional cardiovascular risk factors contribute to CHD in Indian Asians as in other populations, these do not account for their increased risk. Type-2 diabetes, insulin resistance and related metabolic disturbances are more prevalent amongst Indian Asians than Europeans, and have been proposed as major determinants of higher CHD risk among Indian Asians. However, this view is not supported by prospective data. Genome-wide association studies have not identified differences in allele frequencies or effect sizes in known loci to explain the increased CHD risk in Indian Asians. Limited knowledge of mechanisms underlying higher CHD risk amongst Indian Asians presents a major obstacle to reducing the burden of CHD in this population. Systems biology approaches such as genomics, epigenomics, metabolomics and transcriptomics, provide a non-biased approach for discovery of novel biomarkers and disease pathways underlying CHD. Incorporation of these ‘omic’ approaches in prospective Indian Asian cohorts such as the London Life Sciences Population Study (LOLIPOP) provide an exciting opportunity for the identification of new risk factors underlying CHD in this high risk population.
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