Urban Indian Males in South India at Higher Cardiovascular Risk

A study conducted jointly by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and Harvard University and involving 800,000 participants has found that Urban males in India are more likely to experience fatal and non-fatal Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) than others in the country. The report also pointed out that this trend was of greater prevalence among residents of India’s southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Goa, as well as Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Punjab, in the north.


The report which was published in the PLOS Medicine journal was part of a study that involved two sets of surveys carried out between 2012 and 2014 of Indian citizens between 30 and 74 years of age. The study took into account the habits of the individuals, as well as what income category they belonged to, among other factors examined. It found that most of the criteria attributed as direct causes of CVD were more likely to occur as part of the lifestyle of the lower income sectors of the states in question, due to a whole host of factors not limited to high blood glucose and systolic blood pressure that were thought to be affected by both lifestyle and access to healthier eating options. In addition, the study pointed out the prevalence of smoking, a high-risk activity believed to be a leading cause of CVD, among this section of the population. Other potential factors include the risks posed by the location of households to sites that promoted an increased risk due to relative levels of wealth of the households that participated in the surveys.


The overall aim of the study, according to Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s  Pascal Geldsetzer, was to better understand how best to address the problem. In a statement made to Business Standard, he said, “Our findings could be helpful in deciding how to allocate resources to prevent CVD to those most in need.”

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