Monday, September 22, 2008


When I was in medical school, my professor ( the late Prof Danaraj ) use to tell us that Indians have more heart disease compared to the other ethnic groups in Malaysia, and their heart disease seemed to start earlier and is also of the more aggressive form resulting in more heart attacks and higher cardiac mortality. Basically, Indians have more heart disease and died earlier from heart disease. In fact some psychaitrist had postulated the " curry, hurry, bury " syndrome. Those who take a lot of curries, always in a hurry ( the rat race ) tended to be buried earlier. The late Prof Danaraj had actually written a paper on this. Well, at the last ESC ( European Society of Cardiology ), Dr Anoop, presented a poster, of his study, done in UK of 584 patients with acute coronary syndrome, who were admitted to Earling Hospital in UK, from May 2005 - July 2007. Of the 584 patients, 327 were of South Indian origin. There were 60% males. He found that they tended to present about ( on average ) 10years younger, and they also tended to have more 3VD-CAD. There was also a higher incidence of diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia, and pass history of CAD. Their incidence of cigarette smoking is lower.
This only further confirms what we had known in the early seventies.
However, if Prof Danaraj had been alive today, he will probably note that the Malays have caught up with the Indians. The incidence of CAD in Malaysia, has seen a steady rise in Malays getting CAD, almost matching the Chinese and the Indians. However, statistics in Malaysia is still much lacking, and this is just a personal observation.
we are still not certain as to the reason for the increase incidence of of CAD in South Indians. Genetics is an obvious possible reason, but I think that diabetes, hypertension and obesity contributes sugnificantly. Perhaps " curry, hurry and bury " does have some truth, afterall.

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