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Cardiovascular diseases in rural South Asia: the story of one billion people
  1. Chitra Sharma1,
  2. Kiran DK Ahuja1,
  3. Bharati Kulkarni2,
  4. Nuala M Byrne1,
  5. Andrew P Hills1
  1. 1 School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania College of Health and Medicine, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
  2. 2 Clinical Division, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
  1. Correspondence to Professor Andrew P Hills, School of Health Sciences, College of Health and Medicine, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia; andrew.hills{at}utas.edu.au

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The Global Burden of Disease Study reported that from 1990 to 2019, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) emerged as a leading cause of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) in South Asians of both genders (15.2% of total DALYs in men and 11.9% in women).1 South Asia is largely rural with a population of approximately 1.2 billion people and projected to remain rural through to 2050, with a similar number of people.2 In 2014, the multi-country Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) cohort study found that rural South Asians experienced higher incidence rates for CVD mortality and morbidity (7.2 per 1000 person-years) compared with their urban counterparts (5.6 per 1000 person-years), from myocardial infarction, heart failure and stroke.3 This is despite rural South Asians having a comparatively better CVD risk profile, an INTERHEART risk score of 7.6 compared with 9.1.3 Over the past 30 years (1985–2017), the increase in age-standardised mean body mass index (BMI) in the adult rural population has outpaced urban counterparts.4 It follows that …

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Footnotes

  • Contributors CS conceptualised, wrote the original draft and edited the subsequent drafts. KDKA, BK, NMB and APH critically reviewed and edited the draft.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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