In the last decades a significant increase of the migratory phenomenon from South Asian countries to the western world has occurred due to several factors, such as economic crisis, political instabilities, persecutions and wars. It is well established that South Asians (SA) have a higher prevalence of coronary artery disease (CAD) and premature onset of myocardial infarction episodes than other populations. This higher predisposition might be caused by genetic factors, common in both SA residing in their birth country and in those residing abroad, but it may also be due to the new spatial environment in which they live. We have found a higher prevalence of traditional cardiovascular risk factors in SA compared with other populations; in particular abdominal obesity, caused by an unhealthy diet rich in refined carbohydrates and saturated fats, plays a key role in the development of insulin-resistance, diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension, leading to the increase risk of CAD in SA. Even emerging risk factors were found to be higher in this ethnic group; indeed, the evidence of higher levels of pro-thrombotic and pro-inflammatory factors, such as lipoprotein(a) and pro-inflammatory adipokines, as well as the influence of air pollution and psychosocial stress, may have consequences on the risk, treatment and outcomes of CAD in this population.
About The Expert
Alfredo Ruggero Galassi