Hindu-Muslim differences in the prevalence of coronary heart disease and risk factors

J Indian Med Assoc. 2002 Apr;100(4):227-30.


Differences in coronary risk factors and coronary heart disease (CHD) prevalence between the Hindus and the Muslims have not been adequately studied. This study aims to determine the prevalence of certain socio-economic and biological coronary risk factors in urban communities and to compare the findings found in the Hindus and the Muslims. The study employed a cross-sectional survey design and stratified random sampling technique consisting of 1,415 males and 797 females. Among males there were 1,092 Hindus (77.2%) and 272 Muslims (19.2%) while in females there were 685 Hindus (85.9%) and 91 Muslims (11.4%). Prevalence of illiteracy and sedentary lifestyle were significantly more in Muslims (p<0.05). Smoking or tobacco use in males was similar but in females it was more in the Hindus. Self-reported diabetes was found in 1.4% Hindu males and in 1.2% Hindu females. No Muslim reported diabetes. Hindu males were significantly taller than Muslims (163.9 +/- 8.3 versus 160.9 +/- 8.9 cm; p < 0.001). In both males and females there was no significant difference in body mass index and obesity. In Hindu males the diastolic BP was significantly greater than in Muslims (81.2 +/- 9.2 versus 79.0 +/- 8.6 mm Hg; p < 0.001); prevalence of hypertension (30.5% versus 25.7%) was also significantly more (p = 0.048). In Hindu females the mean systolic BP was significantly more and there was also difference in hypertension prevalence (35.2% versus 25.3%). CHD prevalence was significantly greater in Hindu males as compared to the Muslims when determined by the presence of either ECG changes alone (4.3% versus 0.7%; p = 0.008) or ECG changes combined with clinical history (7.1% versus 1.8%; p = 0.002). A similar, though not significant, trend was seen in females (ECG changes: 8.9% versus 6.6%, clinical and ECG changes: 10.4% versus 6.6%). The prevalence of CHD is significantly more in Hindu males as compared to the Muslims and is associated with a greater prevalence of diabetes and hypertension.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Hinduism*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • India / epidemiology
  • Islam*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Urban Population