Researchers in Leicestershire compared hospital admissions and deaths from heart failure in 5,789 South Asian and white patients between 1998 and 2001.
Compared with white patients, the incidence of heart failure was up to four times higher in South Asian patients. At the time of first hospital admission, South Asians were also on average eight years younger and were more likely to have heart disease or diabetes than white patients. Yet survival was similar, if not better, for South Asian patients.
These findings are clinically important to the UK South Asian population, among whom heart disease and diabetes are common, say the authors. They also indicate that ethnicity is a significant factor in the development and course of the disease.
Further studies are required to define the cause, clinical course, and prognosis of heart failure in different communities worldwide, they conclude.