Is coronary heart disease rising in India? A systematic review based on ECG defined coronary heart disease
The aim of this study was to investigate whether coronary heart disease (CHD) is rising in India and assess the quality of the evidence. Thirty one studies were reviewed. The sample sizes of the studies varied from approximately 500 to 14 000, with response rates generally over 90%. Many did not fulfil basic requirements for epidemiological research and most studies were in or around Delhi. The three incidence studies used different diagnostic criteria; however, the incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) in urban India in the 14 years to 1991 remained similar at about 6/1000 in males and 2/1000 in females. Prevalence range was higher in urban than rural areas in men (35–90/1000 v 17–45/1000) and women (28–93/ 1000 v 13–43/1000). There was no clear rise in age specific rates in men over a 27 year period, whereas a rise was seen in women. In conclusion, using a relatively objective measure of CHD it was found that CHD is more common in urban than rural areas of India, but there was little evidence of a rise in CHD over time, especially in men.