Social determinants of cardiovascular disease outcomes in Indians

Indian J Med Res. 2010 Nov;132(5):617-22. doi: 10.4103/0971-5916.73415.


Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of death and disability in both developed and developing countries. In developed countries socio-economic mortality differentials have been studied extensively showing that the low socio-economic group suffers the highest mortality. As the epidemiological transition is taking place against a background of economic globalization, CVD risk factors among the urban poor and middle class are rapidly increasing in India. Recent evidences from India also suggest reversal of social gradient with excess burden of CVD morbidity in the low socio-economic group. Understanding the social determinants of environmental and behavioural exposures, in determining the risk factors for cardiovascular disease is an important challenge for public health professionals as well as communities. Socio-economic disadvantage is not simply a proxy for poor cardiovascular risk factor status, but also an indication of the likely trajectory that an individual or a community may follow in the course of their life. The paucity of intervention research seeking to address the role of social determinants in shaping lifestyle practices among individuals in culturally and socially diverse population groups within India is definitely a measure of inadequacy in public health research. This review article provides an overview of the role of social determinants of CVD and its possible conceptual pathways with special focus on acute coronary syndrome (ACS) outcomes among Indians.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / ethnology*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Life Style / ethnology*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class*
  • Socioeconomic Factors