Indian Heart J. 1998 May-Jun; 50(3): 285-91.
Risk factors for coronary artery disease and levels of lipoprotein(a) and fat-soluble antioxidant vitamins in Asian Indians of USA.
Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Louisiana State University Medical Centre, New Orleans 70112, USA.
High rates of coronary artery disease have been reported in the Asian Indians who have migrated to other countries. Although many coronary artery disease risk factors (diabetes, high serum cholesterol, lipoprotein[a], and smoking) have been suggested, studies of coronary artery disease risk factors in Asian Indians living in USA are only a few. We investigated coronary artery disease risk factors in 110 Asian Indian physicians living in USA by questionnaire and measurement of their serum lipids and fat-soluble antioxidant vitamins. Differences in risk factors between genders, vegetarian diets and diabetic status were also studied. We found that lipoprotein(a) (mean=20 mg/dl), low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and diabetes (prevalence of 7.5%) are more important risk factors for coronary artery disease, but not smoking, when compared to other Americans. Higher levels of low density lipoprotein cholesterol, retinol, alpha-tocopherol, cryptoxanthin and lycopene, and lower levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol were found in the males than in females. Comparable levels of lipoprotein(a) were found for males and females. Vegetarians, compared to non-vegetarians, had similar levels of lipids and fat-soluble antioxidants. Lower levels of retinol, lutein/zeaxanthin and lycopene were found in the diabetics compared to non-diabetics. These findings suggest that (1) the control of low density/high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels could be important in prevention of coronary artery disease in Indian males, (2) the vegetarian diets of Asian Indians do not favourably influence the serum lipid and antioxidant levels, and (3) increased serum levels of antioxidants may be beneficial for diabetics. Furthermore, for the first time, we show that serum levels of lutein/zeaxanthin and lycopene are significantly lower in the diabetics.