Association of early-onset coronary heart disease in South Asian men with glucose intolerance and hyperinsulinemia.
BACKGROUND Rates of coronary heart disease are higher in South Asians (Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis) settled overseas than in other ethnic groups. We tested the hypothesis that this excess risk results from metabolic disturbances associated with insulin resistance.
METHODS AND RESULTS There were 1,421 South Asian men and 1,515 European men aged 40-69 years in London examined in the Southall Study. Prevalence of ischemic ECG abnormalities was higher in South Asians than in Europeans (17% versus 12%, p < 0.001), with an excess of major Q waves (Minnesota codes 1-1 or 1-2) in younger South Asian men (p = 0.01 for the age-ethnicity interaction). Major Q waves were strongly associated with glucose intolerance and hyperinsulinemia in younger South Asians; these factors accounted statistically for 73% of major Q waves in those aged 40-54 years. Age-standardized prevalence of a positive history of coronary heart disease was similar in South Asians and Europeans (8.5% versus 8.2%, NS), and positive history without Q waves was not associated with glucose intolerance or hyperinsulinemia in South Asians. Smoking rates and average plasma cholesterol were lower in South Asians than in Europeans; in a logistic model controlling for smoking and cholesterol, the odds ratio for major Q waves in South Asians compared with Europeans was 2.4 (95% CI, 1.5-3.8). Adjusting for glucose intolerance and hyperinsulinemia reduced this ratio to 1.5 (95% CI, 0.9-2.5).
CONCLUSIONS These results are consistent with the hypothesis that insulin resistance underlies the high coronary risk in South Asian people and strengthen the evidence for a fundamental role of this metabolic pattern in the etiology of coronary heart disease.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association