A study conducted by researchers from the Department of Cardiology and Radiology at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has found that Indians do not have an increased risk for Coronary Artery Disease (heart disease) because of their smaller diameters of arteries, but it is because of their smaller body surface area.
The study, which was conducted on 250 patients, has been published in the Journal of the Indian College of Cardiology. The results are contrary to the general public perception that Indians suffer more from heart disease due to the small diameter of arteries.
“We found that 51 percent were hypertensive, 18 percent were diabetic, 4 percent were smokers, 28 percent were dyslipidemic, and 26 percent had a family history of Heart Disease,” Dr. JPS Sawhney, Chairman, Department of Cardiology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and lead author of the paper said.
Dr. Ashwani Mehta, author & senior consultant, Department of Cardiology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital added, “The study found that the mean vessel diameters for males were significantly larger than those for females, but when indexed to body surface area, these values are not significant. There had been an assumption that Asians and particularly Indians have an increased risk for atherosclerosis (fatty deposit in arteries) because of their small coronary artery diameters.”
However, from the observational study, it is proved that the coronary artery dimensions in the Indian population are not small, but it is due to their small body surface area. The rationale for small dimensions of arteries being a risk factor for heart disease is not valid in the Indian population.
“This study was done to estimate the size of normal coronary arteries in the Indian population, index it to BSA, and see if there is any significant difference when compared to the caucasian population. This study also might provide some insight into the use of diameters indexed to BSA as a cutoff for deciding the need for re-vascularization (a procedure that can restore blood flow in blocked arteries or veins),” Dr. Bhuvnesh Kandpal another author of the paper, added.