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JAMA. 2007 Jan 17;297(3):286-94.

Risk factors for early myocardial infarction in South Asians compared with individuals in other countries.

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Department of Medicine, Government Medical College, Nagpur, India.



South Asians have high rates of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) at younger ages compared with individuals from other countries but the reasons for this are unclear.


To evaluate the association of risk factors for AMI in native South Asians, especially at younger ages, compared with individuals from other countries.


Standardized case-control study of 1732 cases with first AMI and 2204 controls matched by age and sex from 15 medical centers in 5 South Asian countries and 10,728 cases and 12,431 controls from other countries. Individuals were recruited to the study between February 1999 and March 2003.


Association of risk factors for AMI.


The mean (SD) age for first AMI was lower in South Asian countries (53.0 [11.4] years) than in other countries (58.8 [12.2] years; P<.001). Protective factors were lower in South Asian controls than in controls from other countries (moderate- or high-intensity exercise, 6.1% vs 21.6%; daily intake of fruits and vegetables, 26.5% vs 45.2%; alcohol consumption > or =once/wk, 10.7% vs 26.9%). However, some harmful factors were more common in native South Asians than in individuals from other countries (elevated apolipoprotein B(100) /apolipoprotein A-I ratio, 43.8% vs 31.8%; history of diabetes, 9.5% vs 7.2%). Similar relative associations were found in South Asians compared with individuals from other countries for the risk factors of current and former smoking, apolipoprotein B100/apolipoprotein A-I ratio for the top vs lowest tertile, waist-to-hip ratio for the top vs lowest tertile, history of hypertension, history of diabetes, psychosocial factors such as depression and stress at work or home, regular moderate- or high-intensity exercise, and daily intake of fruits and vegetables. Alcohol consumption was not found to be a risk factor for AMI in South Asians. The combined odds ratio for all 9 risk factors was similar in South Asians (123.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 38.7-400.2] and in individuals from other countries (125.7; 95% CI, 88.5-178.4). The similarities in the odds ratios for the risk factors explained a high and similar degree of population attributable risk in both groups (85.8% [95% CI, 78.0%-93.7%] vs 88.2% [95% CI, 86.3%-89.9%], respectively). When stratified by age, South Asians had more risk factors at ages younger than 60 years. After adjusting for all 9 risk factors, the predictive probability of classifying an AMI case as being younger than 40 years was similar in individuals from South Asian countries and those from other countries.


The earlier age of AMI in South Asians can be largely explained by higher risk factor levels at younger ages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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