Background: High rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease have been reported in South Asian immigrants in many countries. However, the prevalence and characteristics of cardiovascular disease risk factors among a South Asian population living in Kuwait have not yet been investigated. This study was therefore designed to estimate the prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors and determine whether they are independently associated with diabetes in such a population. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted on 1094 South Asians (781 men and 313 women), mainly Indian and Pakistani (≥ 18 years of age), of whom 75.1% were Indians. Interviews were carried out, during which socio-demographic and anthropometric data were collected, followed by a physical examination and collection of fasting blood samples for laboratory investigations. Diabetes was defined by fasting plasma glucose ≥ 7 mmol/l, or being on treatment, and/or self-reported previously diagnosed Type 2 diabetes. Results: The prevalence of diabetes was 21.1%, with 3.4% of that percentage of people being newly diagnosed. Using BMI measurements, 24.0% of those who participated in the study were obese and 46.1% were overweight. Dyslipidaemia was found in 77.6% and hypertension in 44.8%. Advancing age (≥ 40 years), male gender, high LDL, high total cholesterol, hypertension and positive family history of diabetes were significantly associated with increased risk of diabetes. Conclusion: Our study shows that the prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors in South Asian expatriates in Kuwait exceeds prevalence rates reported in their homeland and other countries. This may suggest the added stress of environmental factors on the development of cardiovascular disease risk factors in such populations. Specialized prevention programmes targeting such high-risk ethnic populations are paramount and need to be implemented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism