Burden of cardiovascular risk factors and disease in five Asian groups in Catalonia: A disaggregated, population-based analysis of 121 000 first-generation Asian immigrants

Document Type



Office of the Provost; Cardiology


Aims: To evaluate the burden of cardiovascular risk factors and disease (CVD) among five Asian groups living in Catalonia (Spain): Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Filipino, and Chinese.
Methods and results: Retrospective cohort study using the Catalan Health Surveillance System database including 42 488 Pakistanis, 40 745 Chinese, 21 705 Indians, 9544 Filipinos, and 6907 Bangladeshis; and 5.3 million native individuals ('locals'). We estimated the age-adjusted prevalence (as of 31 December 2019) and incidence (during 2019) of diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, obesity, tobacco use, coronary heart disease (CHD), cerebrovascular disease, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure (HF). Bangladeshis had the highest prevalence of diabetes (17.4% men, 22.6% women) followed by Pakistanis. Bangladeshis also had the highest prevalence of hyperlipidaemia (23.6% men, 18.3% women), hypertension among women (24%), and incident tobacco use among men. Pakistani women had the highest prevalence of obesity (28%). For CHD, Bangladeshi men had the highest prevalence (7.3%), followed by Pakistanis (6.3%); and Pakistanis had the highest prevalence among women (3.2%). For HF, the prevalence in Pakistani and Bangladeshi women was more than twice that of locals. Indians had the lowest prevalence of diabetes across South Asians, and of CHD across South Asian men, while the prevalence of CHD among Indian women was twice that of local women (2.6% vs. 1.3%). Filipinos had the highest prevalence of hypertension among men (21.8%). Chinese men and women had the lowest prevalence of risk factors and CVD.
Conclusions: In Catalonia, preventive interventions adapted to the risk profile of different Asian immigrant groups are needed, particularly for Bangladeshis and Pakistanis.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

European journal of preventive cardiology