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Cardiovascular diseases in Chinese, Malays, and Indians in Singapore. I. Differences in mortality.
  1. K Hughes,
  2. K C Lun,
  3. P P Yeo
  1. National University of Singapore, Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine.


    STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim of the study was to analyse differences in mortality from the main cardiovascular diseases (ischaemic heart disease, hypertensive disease, and cerebrovascular disease) among Chinese, Malays, and Indians in Singapore. DESIGN--The study was a survey using national death registration data in Singapore for the five years 1980 to 1984. The underlying cause of death, coded according to the ninth revision of the International Classification of Diseases, was taken for the analyses. SETTING--The study was confined to the independent island state of Singapore, population 2.53 million (Chinese 76.5%, Malays 14.8%, Indians 6.4%, Others 2.3%). Death registration is thought to be complete. SUBJECTS--All registered deaths in the age range 30-69 years during the study period were analysed by ethnic group. MEASUREMENT AND MAIN RESULTS--Indians had higher mortality from ischaemic heart disease than the other ethnic groups in both sexes, with age-standardised relative risks of Indian v Chinese (males 3.8, females 3.4), Indian v Malay (males 1.9, females 1.6), and Malay v Chinese (males 2.0, females 2.2). The excess mortality in Indians declined with age. For hypertensive disease Malays had the highest mortality, with age-standardised relative risks of Malay v Chinese (males 3.4, females 4.4), Malay v Indian (males 2.0, females 2.5), and Indian v Chinese (males 1.6, females 1.6). For cerebrovascular disease there was little ethnic difference except for lower rates in Chinese females, with age-standardised relative risks of Malay v Chinese (males 1.1, females 1.9), Malay v Indian (males 1.0, females 1.1), and Indian v Chinese (males 1.1, females 1.7). CONCLUSIONS--There are significant differences in mortality from the three main cardiovascular diseases in the different ethnic groups in Singapore.

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