Background: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number one cause of death globally and are the leading cause of death in India also. Several surveys conducted across the country over the past few decades have shown a rising prevalence of major risk factors for CVD in Asian Indian population. The problem of increasing risk factors for CVD in India is because of lack of surveillance system and lack of proper diagnosis. This study will help to point out the need of research so that some advanced diagnosis system may be developed for proper diagnosis of CVDs and to reduce the growing burden of CVDs in the country. Methods: We did a literature search for the period from 1968 to 2012 using PUBMED search to identify all relevant studies of cardiovascular diseases. Besides PUBMED searching, manual searching has also been done. This article provides a review of current understanding of the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease, particularly, coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and related risk factors in Asian Indian population. Results: Hypertension and diabetes are highly prevalent among Asian Indian population, which may explain their high rate of stroke and heart attack in India. The increasing rate of CVD may be explained by the high rates of other risk factors including adverse lipid profile. The etiology of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is multifactorial and no single factor is an absolute cause. Conclusion: The cardiovascular diseases and its risk factors are increasing with a rapid pace in Asian Indian population. Though the prevalence of CVD risk factors is found higher in urban population, yet it is increasing at an alarming rate in rural population also, which is a serious threatening to the nation. Since majority of the Indians live in rural area, CVD may lead to epidemic proportions. We need health promotion programs and reorientation of primary health care to improve CVD detection in earlier stage and its management.
Key words: CVD,Asian Indians,Obesity,Diabetes,Metabolic syndrome.