Heterogeneity in cardio-metabolic risk factors and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease among Asian groups in the United States

Document Type



Cardiology; Office of the Provost


Objective: The Asian American population in the U.S. comprises various, ethnically diverse subgroups. Traditionally, this population has been studied as a single, aggregated group, potentially masking differences in risk among subgroups. Analyses using disaggregated data can help better characterize the health needs of different Asian subpopulations and inform targeted, effective public health interventions. We assessed the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and atherosclerotic CVD (ASCVD) and their associations with socioeconomic factors among Chinese, Asian Indian, Filipino and Other Asian subjects, compared with non-Hispanic White (NHW) subjects in the U.S.
Methods: Cross-sectional study using data from 298,286 adults from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from 2007 to 2018. We utilized chi-squared tests to compare characteristics across subgroups. Weighted proportions and unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression models were utilized to examine the associations between Asian subgroups, self-reported CVD risk factors and self-reported ASCVD, as well as between socioeconomic factors within each Asian subgroup.
Results: Asian Indian subjects had the highest prevalence of diabetes (12.5%), while Filipino subjects had the highest prevalence of hyperlipidemia (27.7%), hypertension (29.8%) and obesity (19.8%). Despite this, the prevalence of self-reported ASCVD was lower in all Asian groups compared with NHWs. Chinese subjects had the lowest odds of having each of the CVD risk factors assessed.
Conclusion: We found considerable heterogeneity in the distribution of risk factors as well as ASCVD among Asian subgroups in the US. Compared with health system or community-based reports, the prevalence of risk factors and ASCVD may be underestimated in some Asian NHIS subgroups. There is an urgent need for efforts to improve recruitment of Asian participants of heterogeneous socioeconomic backgrounds in national surveys, as well as to perform a thorough assessment of risk factors and disease in this population, not relying solely on self-report.


Issue and pagination are not provided by the author/publisher. This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

American Journal of Preventive Cardiology