Objective: Non-migrant Asian Indians have a high prevalence of diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD). Since the relation between age and CHD risk in this population is not known, the appropriateness of existing age threshold for patients with diabetes to be suitable for primary CHD prevention with statins is not known. We aimed to determine an age threshold above which patients develop a higher risk of CHD and would merit routine statin prescription.
Design: Cross-sectional analysis of 1087 patients with diabetes from the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiological Studies (CURES). CHD risk assessment was calculated using the United Kingdom Prospective Study (UKPDS) risk engine, externally validated by using data obtained from the 7-year follow-up cohort of the Chennai Urban Population Study (CUPS). Relation between age and CHD risk was determined and the age threshold for increased CHD risks was calculated using line of best fit.
Results: UKPDS risk engine overestimates CHD event rates by 50% in this population. Age is a strong independent predictor of CHD risk. Transition from low to moderate-risk category for men and women with diabetes occurred at ages 37 and 50 years, respectively. Sensitivity for fulfilling this CHD risk criteria are 98.7% for men and 87.1% for women.
Conclusions: Statins should be routinely prescribed to all Asian Indian men and women with diabetes above the ages of 37 and 50 years, respectively. For patients below these age thresholds, decision to initiate statins should be based on patient's individual cardiovascular risk factors. This strategy may facilitate public health efforts to reduce CHD events in India.