Risk factors for coronary heart disease in the Indians of Durban
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a major problem in migrant Indians throughout the world. In South Africa it has reached 'epidemic' proportions. A field survey was conducted among Indians in the metropolitan area of Durban to determine the prevalence and known risk factors for CHD. In a study of 778 subjects aged 15 - 69 years (408 men), 15,3% (sex and age adjusted 13,4%) had a history of CHD. The important risk factors in men were hypercholesterolaemia, hypertriglyceridaemia, diabetes, and smoking, and in women diabetes, hypercholesterolaemia, and hypertriglyceridaemia. The minor risk factors were hyperuricaemia, sedentary occupation, obesity in women and a positive family history of CHD. A study of the major risk factors leading to CHD showed that 52% (sex and age adjusted 45,5%) had at least one major risk factor at the higher (level A) and 68% (sex and age adjusted 61,9%) at the lower (level B) risk levels. Diabetes mellitus was strongly associated with a positive history of CHD. In 47,6% (sex and age adjusted 48,2%) of the total group resting ECG abnormalities were found that could be coded. Because of the severe nature of CHD in the migrant Indian, an immediate and intensive programme of primary prevention of CHD risk factors should be instituted.
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