Article Text

Download PDFPDF
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}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

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 …

View Full Text


  • 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.