People who have a parent, brother or sister with heart disease are more likely to develop it themselves, especially if their relative developed problems at an early age. Most people with a strong family history of heart disease have one or more other risk factors.
The incidence of type II diabetes is as high as 8% and 40% in the over 70-age group in Glasgow (NRCEM 2004). It is not completely clear why South Asians suffer more from heart disease. It may be due to other risk factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, higher rates of obesity and diabetes, or lack of exercise, poor diet or smoking. The fact that a higher proportion of people in this group have a disadvantaged socio-economic position may also be a factor.
It is obvious that you can't change your age, sex, race or family history. However the good news is that there is a lot which can be done to treat and control any of the other risk factors you may have. See sections on, high blood lipids (fats), high blood pressure, diabetes, keeping a healthy weight, smoking, physical activity, eating a healthy diet.
People from the South Asian population are more likely to have a higher average premature death rate from CHD, 51% higher in females and 46% in men. (British Heart Foundation, 2000). New research now claims the incidence (the number of people newly diagnosed) with a heart attack is 60-70% higher in the South Asian population. However there is a 30% chance of people in this population dieing after their first heart attack compared to 50% in the native populationCoronary heart disease such as angina or heart attack becomes more common as people get older. Over 83 percent of people who die of coronary heart disease (CHD) are over 65 years of age. Men have a greater risk of heart attack than women do, and they have attacks earlier in life. Even after menopause, when women's death rate from heart disease increases, it's not as great as men's