While Asian-Americans are the fasting growing racial-ethnic group in the US, Asian-American cardiovascular disease mortality patterns have been poorly understood.
The investigators say their findings argue against a "one size fits all" approach to cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment.
A team from the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute in Palo Alto, CA, examined heart disease and stroke mortality rates in Asian-American subgroups in order to identify potential racial and ethnic differences in cardiovascular disease mortality within the US.
While Asian-Americans are the fasting growing racial-ethnic group in the US and are projected to number about 40 million by the year 2050, Asian-American cardiovascular disease mortality patterns have been poorly understood, principal investigator Dr. Powell O. Jose and his colleagues said in a recent article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The primary reason for the knowledge gap is the aggregation of Asian-Americans in epidemiologic studies, which tends to "mask" the heterogeneity of cardiovascular disease among various Asian-American subgroups.
The researchers reviewed 10,442,034 death records from 2003 through 2010 from 34 states, which had information on heart disease and stroke mortality rates for the six largest Asian-American subgroups, which include Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Asian Indian and Vietnamese Americans. These subgroups account for 84% of Asians in the US.
For the analysis, they used United States census and death record data, standardized mortality ratios, relative standardized mortality ratios and proportional mortality ratios calculated for each sex and ethnic group relative to non-Hispanic white people.
Asian Indian and Filipino people 'at greater risk for ischemic heart disease'
The findings revealed that while non-Hispanic men and women had the highest overall mortality rates, Asian Indian men and women and Filipino men had a greater proportionate mortality burden from ischemic heart disease.
In addition, the proportionate mortality burden of hypertensive heart disease and cerebrovascular disease, particularly hemorrhagic stroke, was higher in every Asian-American subgroup than in non-Hispanic whites.
Dr. Jose and his colleagues say that the results underscore the importance of an increased focus on prevention, health education and community outreach to target populations with the highest risk.
They also noted that more research is needed to clarify the mechanisms responsible for the gaps in cardiovascular disease outcomes among Asian-American subgroups.