Heart disease among Pakistanis in UK
- Between 1999 and 2004 the prevalence of CVD (cardiovascular disease) in Pakistanis doubled in the UK and the prevalence of diabetes among women >55 years of age was 5-fold higher than whites.1
- Death rates from heart disease have been falling since the 1970s. Between 1989 and 2003, the heart disease mortality declined by 44% in men and women born in the UK. But the decrease has been much smaller in Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.1 As a result, the difference in heart disease rates with whites increased over the last 20 years.
- Unlike US or India, patients deemed appropriate for coronary angioplasty/stent or bypass surgery can receive these treatments under the National Health Service without financial considerations. Yet, South Asians, particularly Pakistanis, are less likely to receive these procedures. These differences are due to patient understanding and preference and not due to physician bias.2
- Compared to white patients, South Asian patients in general were 31-36% less likely to receive angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery, whereas Pakistanis and Bangladeshis were 56-77% less likely to receive these procedures.2
- Failure to choose and receive appropriate therapy due to ignorance or misconceptions may be contributing to the higher mortality rate among Pakistanis in UK.
1. Harding S, Rosato M, Teyhan A. Trends for coronary heart disease and stroke mortality among migrants in England and Wales, 1979-2003: slow declines notable for some groups. Heart (British Cardiac Society). Apr 2008;94(4):463-470.
2. Hemingway H, Crook AM, Feder G, et al. Underuse of coronary revascularization procedures in patients considered appropriate candidates for revascularization. N Engl J Med. 2001;344(9):645-654.