Journal of Community Health

, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 1100–1114 | Cite as

South Asian Cardiovascular Disease & Cancer Risk: Genetics & Pathophysiology

  • Latha Palaniappan
  • Arun Garg
  • Enas Enas
  • Henrietta Lewis
  • Sehrish Bari
  • Martha Gulati
  • Cristina Flores
  • Ashish Mathur
  • Cesar Molina
  • Jagat Narula
  • Shahid Rahman
  • Jennifer Leng
  • Francesca GanyEmail author
Original Paper


South Asians (SAs) are at heightened risk for cardiovascular disease as compared to other ethnic groups, facing premature and more severe coronary artery disease, and decreased insulin sensitivity. This disease burden can only be partially explained by conventional risk factors, suggesting the need for a specific cardiovascular risk profile for SAs. Current research, as explored through a comprehensive literature review, suggests the existence of population specific genetic risk factors such as lipoprotein(a), as well as population specific gene modulating factors. This review catalogues the available research on cardiovascular disease and genetics, anthropometry, and pathophysiology, and cancer genetics among SAs, with a geographical focus on the U.S. A tailored risk profile will hinge upon population customized classification and treatment guidelines, informed by continued research.


South Asian Immigrant Genetics Epigenetics Cardiovascular 



This study was funded by National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R13 MD007147-01A1), National Cancer Institute (U54CA137788), National Cancer Institute (P30 CA008748). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. SAHI staff would like to thank the Steering Committee members, all working group co-chairs, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Library, Rohini Rau-Murthy and the SAHI interns for their assistance in assembling this document.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Latha Palaniappan
    • 1
  • Arun Garg
    • 2
  • Enas Enas
    • 3
  • Henrietta Lewis
    • 4
  • Sehrish Bari
    • 5
  • Martha Gulati
    • 6
  • Cristina Flores
    • 7
  • Ashish Mathur
    • 8
  • Cesar Molina
    • 8
  • Jagat Narula
    • 9
  • Shahid Rahman
    • 10
  • Jennifer Leng
    • 11
    • 12
    • 13
  • Francesca Gany
    • 11
    • 12
    • 13
    • 14
    Email author
  1. 1.Stanford University School of MedicinePalo AltoUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory Medicine and PathologyFraser Health AuthorityNew WestminsterCanada
  3. 3.Coronary Artery Disease among Asian Indians (CADI) Research FoundationLisleUSA
  4. 4.Rollins School of Public Health, Global EpidemiologyEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  5. 5.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  6. 6.Division of CardiologyUniversity of Arizona College of MedicinePhoenixUSA
  7. 7.The Warren Alpert Medical School, The Brown Human Rights Asylum Clinic (BHRAC)Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  8. 8.South Asian Heart CenterEl Camino HospitalMountain ViewUSA
  9. 9.The Mount Sinai HospitalNew YorkUSA
  10. 10.I-Say, Bangladeshi American Youth Association, Teach & TravelNew YorkUSA
  11. 11.Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  12. 12.Department of MedicineMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  13. 13.Department of Healthcare Policy and ResearchWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA
  14. 14.Department of MedicineWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA

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