Heart failure in a multiethnic population in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Eur J Heart Fail. 2003 Aug;5(4):569-74. doi: 10.1016/s1388-9842(03)00013-8.


Background: There are established differences in cardiovascular disease in different racial groups. Worldwide, the literature regarding the clinical epidemiology of congestive heart failure (CHF) in non-white populations is scarce.

Objectives: To document the prevalence of CHF in the multiracial population of Malaysia, and to describe the clinical features and management of these patients.

Setting: Busy city centre general hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Results: Of 1435 acute medical admissions to Kuala Lumpur General Hospital over the 4-week study period, 97 patients (6.7%) were admitted with the primary diagnosis of CHF. Coronary artery disease was the main aetiology of CHF, accounting for almost half (49.5%) the patients, followed by hypertension (18.6%). However, there were variations in associated aetiological factors between ethnic groups, with diabetes mellitus affecting the majority of Indians-as well as underutilisation of standard drugs for CHF, such as the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which were only used in 43.3%.

Conclusion: Amongst acute medical admissions to a single centre in Malaysia the prevalence of CHF was 6.7%. Coronary artery disease was the major aetiological factor in heart failure accounting for almost half the admissions. The under-prescription of ACE inhibitors was similar to other clinical surveys carried out amongst Caucasian populations in the West.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Asians / genetics
  • China / ethnology
  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy
  • Heart Failure / ethnology*
  • Heart Failure / etiology
  • Humans
  • Malaysia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors