HEART DISEASE AND DIABETES IN SOUTH ASIANS

South Asians are at high risk of cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, and other common life-threatening illnesses.  Furthermore, death rates from cardiovascular disease have continued to increase at alarming rates in South Asia which contrast with nearly two-third reduction in US and Western Europe.

The high risk of cardiovascular disease among South Asians is not explained by differences in classic risk factors, including insulin resistance and obesity. Known genetics factors also fail to account for high cardiovascular mortality among South Asians. The mechanisms underlying the excess risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related abnormalities in South Asians thus remain unknown

THE KNOWLEDGE GAP 

To date, research has provided little insight into why South Asians are more susceptible to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other critical illnesses than other populations. Previous research studies in South Asians have been restricted by their small size, cross-sectional study design, and limited assessment of exposures that may underlie their risk of major diseases. Additionally, most studies have been done in isolated geographic settings and in a specific sub-groups of South Asians, limiting their value and generalisability to the large number of South Asians who live in very diverse settings.

The lack of large-scale longitudinal studies in South Asians has resulted in a knowledge gap of why South Asians are more susceptible to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and related disorders. This knowledge gap is a recognised as a major obstacle in reversing the epidemic of these life-threatening diseases among South Asians, who are ~1/4 of the world’s population.

SOUTH ASIANS HAVE A 3-FOLD HIGHER RISK OF DIABETES THAN EUROPEANS

A key aspect of the study is to understand why this is the case, with mass data we can find trends that could lead to breakthrough in treatments.

ABOUT SOUTH ASIA BIOBANK

South Asia Biobank Study is large-scale prospective study which will collect detailed health and life-style information, and biological samples in ~200,000  South Asians aged between 25 and 85 years old living in the UK and South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka). Participants will be followed up over many years for health outcomes to help gain critical knowledge in tackling health challenges affecting South Asians.

In the UK, we will recruit ~100,000 South Asian men and women aged 25-85 years, from the lists of general practitioners. In South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka), we will recruit ~100,000 South Asians participating in a surveillance study in a network of ~200 primary healthcare units, in rural and urban settings, as part of our NIHR Global Health Research Unit.

All participants will complete a detailed assessment consisting of: i. health and lifestyle questionnaire; ii. 24-hour diet recall (Intake24 tool); iii. anthropometry (height, weight, waist and hip circumference and body fat composition); iv. blood pressure; v. spirometry; vi. 12-lead ECG; vii. retinal photography; viii. assessment of physical activity by wrist monitor; ix. biological samples (blood, plasma, serum, RNA, urine) will be taken and stored for at – 80C for future analysis. All data will be captured electronically, anonimised, and stored on a secure cloud-based database. Data collection will be standardised across UK and South Asia, including training, protocols and equipment.

Informed consent will be obtained at recruitment from all participants giving permission for: i. linkage to medical and other health related records; ii. genomic studies including whole genome sequencing; iii. recall by genotype/phenotype. Follow-up will identify people with incident cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and other critical illnesses. We will carry out detailed analysis of baseline samples to help identify the lifestyle, environmental, genomic and molecular pathways underlying these major diseases among South Asians, and improve the health and well-being of South Asians world-wide

PARTNERS

SOUTH ASIAN BIOBANK Investigators

Professor Jaspal S Kooner

Professor Jaspal S Kooner

MBBS, MD, FRCP, FMedSci

Professor John C Chambers

Professor John C Chambers

BA, MBBS, FRCP, PhD

Professor Paul Elliot

Professor Paul Elliot

MBBS, PhD, FMedSci

Professor The Lord Darzi of Denham

Professor The Lord Darzi of Denham

PC KBE FRS FMEDSCI HONFRENG

Professor Elio Riboli

Professor Elio Riboli

BA, MBBS, FRCP, PhD

Dr Robina Coker

Dr Robina Coker

BA, MBBS, FRCP, PhD

Contact us for more info

If you are interested in joining the team, have any questions or would like to find out more about the South Asia Biobank please complete the form below and one of the team will be in touch.