Risk Factors for Coronary Heart Disease Among Asian Indians Living in Australia

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the coronary heart disease risk factors in the Asian Indian community living in a large city in Australia. A cross-sectional survey was conducted at the Australia India Friendship Fair in 2010. All people of Asian Indian descent who attended the Fair and visited the health promotion stall were eligible to participate in the study if they self-identified as of Asian Indian origin, were aged between 18 and 80 years, and were able to speak English. Blood pressure, blood glucose, waist circumference, height, and weight were measured by a health professional. Smoking, cholesterol levels, and physical activity status were obtained through self-reports. Data were analyzed for 169 participants. More than a third of the participants under the age of 65 years had high blood pressure. Prevalence of diabetes (16%) and obesity (61%) was significantly higher compared with the national average. Ten women identified themselves as smokers. Physical activity patterns were similar to that of the wider Australian population. The study has provided a platform for raising awareness among nurses and promoting advocacy on the cardiovascular risk among Asian Indians. Strategies involving Asian Indian nurses and other Asian Indian health professionals as well as support from the private and public sectors can assist in the reduction of the coronary heart disease risk factors among this extremely susceptible population.

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