Epidemic of Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes: Explaining the Phenomenon in South Asians Worldwide

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract / Description of output

Coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, collectively cardiovascular disease (CVD), are caused by narrowing and blockage of the arteries supplying the heart and brain, respectively. In type 2 diabetes (DM2) insulin is insufficient to maintain normal blood glucose. South Asians have high susceptibility to these diseases. Drawing upon the scientific literature and discussions with 22 internationally recognized scholars, this book focuses on causal explanations and their implications for prevention and research. Genetically based hypotheses are considered together with the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHAD) family of hypotheses. The book then considers how CHD, stroke, and DM2 are closely linked to rising affluence and the accompanying changes in life-expectancy and lifestyles. The established causal factors are shown to be insufficient, though necessary, parts of a convincing explanation for the excess of DM2 and CVD in South Asians. In identifying new explanations, this book emphasizes glycation of tissues, possibly leading to arterial stiffness and microcirculatory damage. In addition to endothelial pathways to atherosclerosis an external (adventitial) one is proposed, i.e. microcirculatory damage to the network of arterioles that nourish the coronary arteries. In addition to the ectopic fat in their liver and pancreas as the cause of beta cell dysfunction leading to DM2, additional ideas are proposed, i.e. microcirculatory damage. The high risk of CVD and DM2 in urbanizing South Asians is not inevitable, innate or genetic, or acquired in early life and programmed in a fixed way. Rather, exposure to risk factors in childhood, adolescence, and most particularly in adulthood is the key. The challenge to produce focused, low cost, effective actions, underpinned by clear, simple, and accurate explanations of the causes of the phenomenon is addressed.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191871917
ISBN (Print)9780198833246
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2019


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