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Individuals of South Asian descent have a high prevalence of comorbidities that are risk factors for the development of heart failure (HF), including diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. However, little is known about the prevalence of HF, its management and prognosis for this population compared to Caucasians. Therefore, a literature review relating to the nature, outcome and treatment of HF in South Asian patients compared to Caucasians was conducted. It was anticipated that collating existing studies in this manner would be useful for guiding professionals in managing HF within this ethnic group, given that to achieve optimal care, regimens need to take into account cultural differences that may impact on adherence. Reviewed literature showed that South Asians with HF were more likely to be younger and have diabetes and hypertension. These papers also implied that outcomes for South Asians with HF were similar or even better than for Caucasians. The review highlighted the under-representation of South Asians in HF trials, meaning that evidence-based recommendations tailored to this specific population are limited. This is an important consideration because ethnic differences in response to medication have been reported; it cannot be assumed that treatments shown to work for Caucasians will be efficacious for those from minority ethnic groups.

Original publication




Journal article


Heart Fail Rev

Publication Date





197 - 206


Asian Continental Ancestry Group, Ethnic Groups, Heart Failure, Humans, Minority Groups, Narration, Prevalence, Prognosis, Risk Factors, Treatment Outcome