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J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2017 Oct;26(10):2145-2153. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2017.04.036. Epub 2017 Jun 1.

An Examination of Stroke Risk and Burden in South Asians.

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Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California. Electronic address:
Department of Neurology, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.
Department of Neurology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida.
Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Department of Neurology, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Punjab, India.



South Asians (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan) are at a disproportionately higher risk of stroke and heart disease due to their cardiometabolic profile. Despite evidence for a strong association between diabetes and stroke, and growing stroke risk in this ethnic minority-notwithstanding reports of higher stroke mortality irrespective of country of residence-the explanation for the excess risk of stroke remains unknown.


We have used extensive literature review, epidemiologic studies, morbidity and mortality records, and expert opinions to examine the burden of stroke among South Asians, and the risk factors identified thus far.


We summarize existing evidence and indicate gaps in current knowledge of stroke epidemiology among South Asian natives and immigrants.


This research focuses attention on a looming epidemic of stroke mainly due to modifiable risk factors, but also new determinants that might aggravate the effect of vascular risk factors in South Asians causing more disabling strokes and death.


South Asians; Stroke; epidemiology; immigrants; race and ethnicity; special populations

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