Lifestyle Choices Fuel Epidemics of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Among Asian Indians

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2016 Mar-Apr;58(5):505-13. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2015.08.010. Epub 2015 Aug 13.


Within the next 15years, India is projected to overtake China as the world's most populous nation. Due to the rapid pace of urbanization and modernization fueling population growth, in conjunction with a genetic predisposition to insulin resistance, India is suffering a rising epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including coronary artery disease (CAD), type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and stroke. In addition to the genetic predisposition, major negative lifestyle factors are contributing to the alarming outbreak of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among the Asian Indian population; these factors include: 1) a diet high in added sugar, refined grains and other processed foods, 2) physical inactivity, 3) vitamin D deficiency (VDD), and 4) smoking/pollution. These risk factors are all highly modifiable, and steps to improve these issues should be taken urgently to avoid a worsening NCD crisis among the inhabitants of the South Asian subcontinent as well as for people with Asian Indian ethnicity worldwide.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Coronary artery disease; Exercise; Metabolic syndrome; Sugar; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asian People*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / mortality
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Diet / ethnology
  • Environmental Pollutants / adverse effects
  • Epidemics
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Life Style / ethnology*
  • Nutritional Status / ethnology
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Sedentary Behavior / ethnology
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / ethnology
  • Time Factors
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / ethnology


  • Environmental Pollutants