Above two CT-scans showing the type of atherosclerosis which is more frequent among South Asians compared to Europeans. South Asians have higher levels of fibrofatty plaque which is more vulnerable and can lead to fatal thrombosis.


Danish and British researchers reveal why people from South Asia have a higher risk of heart disease and death due to atherosclerosis.

South Asians constitute 1/4 of the world's population and come from countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. It is already known that South Asians have a higher risk of early development of fatal cardiovascular disease compared with Europeans.

Researchers at Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University have in collaboration with colleagues at Centre for Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging in London compared the type and extent of atherosclerosis by CT angiography in 420 Europeans and 543 South Asians with chest pain to find the cause of the increased risk of heart disease in South Asians.

The study shows that while the extent of atherosclerosis is similar, the type of atherosclerosis in South Asians is different from Europeans with higher levels of fibrofatty plaque and less calcification. This type of plaque is more vulnerable and can lead to fatal thrombosis.

- The results of this study indicate that the increased risk of cardiovascular disease among South Asians could be related to a different type of atherosclerosis. Thus, high-risk plaques can be identified earlier. In this way we can hopefully improve the prevention of coronary thrombosis and cardiovascular death regardless of ethnicity, says Peter Ryom Villadsen, MD from Horsens Regional Hospital as well as researcher at Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University.


Results are published in the article:

Coronary atherosclerotic plaque burden and composition by CT angiography in Caucasian and South Asian patients with stable chest pain.Villadsen PR, Petersen SE, Dey D, Zou L, Patel S, Naderi H, Gruszczynska K, Baron J, Davies LC, Wraff A, Bøtker HE, Pugliese F. Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2016 May 25.


Further information: Peter Ryom Villadsen, MD,
Tel.: +45 5126  6328