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South India

South India

  • Coronary artery disease (CAD) and diabetes rates have been studied extensively in Chennai where the prevalence of both conditions is high and still increasing.
  • The overall prevalence rate of CAD is 11% (9% age-standardized) in Chennai which is similar to North India and the Diasporas.1-5 The prevalence of CAD increases with increasing degree of glucose intolerance; the prevalence was 9% for those with a normal glucose tolerance, 15% for those with prediabetes and 21% for those with diabetes.6
  • Studies to determine the precise causes of death in urban Chennai and rural areas of Andhra Pradesh have revealed that cardiovascular diseases (CVD) cause about 40% of the deaths in urban areas and 30% in rural areas.7
  • Risk factors were generally more prevalent in South Indians compared with North Indians.8, 9 For example, the prevalence of dyslipidemia (cholesterol problems)was 50% higher (33%vs 21%) and obesity nearly double (24% vs. 13%) in South Indians vs. North Indians.10
  • Over the past 30 years, the prevalence of diabetes has increased 3 times from 5% to 14% and prediabetes 5 times from 2% to 10% .11
  • Recent studies have shown a rapid conversion of prediabetes to diabetes in the southern states of India.11 (See Diabetes South India)


1. Mohan V, Deepa R, Shanthi Rani S, Premalatha G. Prevalence of coronary artery disease and its relationship to lipids in a selected population in South India. The Chennai Urban Population Study (CUPS No. 5). J Am Coll Cardiol. 2001;38(3):682-687.

2. Chadha S. L., Radhakrishnan S, Ramachandran K, Kaul U, Gopinath N. Epidemiological study of coronary heart disease in urban population of Delhi. Indian J Med Res. Dec 1990;92:424-430.

3. Gupta R, Joshi P, Mohan V, Reddy KS, Yusuf S. Epidemiology and causation of coronary heart disease and stroke in India. Heart (British Cardiac Society). Jan 2008;94(1):16-26.

4. Sarvotham SG, Berry JN. Prevalence of coronary heart disease in an urban population in northern India. Circulation. 1968;37(6):939-953.

5. Soman C. R, Kutty VR, Safraj S, Vijayakumar K, Rajamohanan K, Ajayan K. All-Cause Mortality and Cardiovascular Mortality in Kerala State of India: Results From a 5-Year Follow-up of 161 942 Rural Community Dwelling Adults. Asia Pac J Public Health. May 10 2010.

6. Mohan V, Sandeep S, Deepa R, Shah B, Varghese C. Epidemiology of type 2 diabetes: Indian scenario. Indian J Med Res. Mar 2007;125(3):217-230.

7. Gupta R. Recent trends in coronary heart disease epidemiology in India. Indian heart journal. Mar-Apr 2008;60(2 Suppl B):B4-18.

8. Shah B, Mathur P. Surveillance of cardiovascular disease risk factors in India: the need & scope. Indian J Med Res. Nov 2010;132(5):634-642.

9. Thankappan K R, Shah B, Mathur P, et al. Risk factor profile for chronic non-communicable diseases: results of a community-based study in Kerala, India. Indian J Med Res. Jan 2010;131:53-63.

10. Kinra S., Bowen LJ, Lyngdoh T, et al. Sociodemographic patterning of non-communicable disease risk factors in rural India: a cross sectional study. BMJ. 2010;341:c4974.

11. Mohan V, Deepa M, Deepa R, et al. Secular trends in the prevalence of diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance in urban South India–the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study (CURES-17). Diabetologia. Jun 2006;49(6):1175-1178.

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