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Research news: Heart disease study highlights Scottish ethnic groups most at risk

Scots of Pakistani origin are 50 per cent more likely to be admitted to hospital with chest pain and angina than those of Indian ethnicity, a study has found.

Scots of Indian and Pakistani origin also have much greater levels of hospital admissions for both conditions than people of white Scottish ethnicity.

Those of Pakistani origin were twice as likely to be admitted to hospital with chest pain compared with white Scots, according to the University of Edinburgh study.

Scottish residents who defined their ethnicity as Indian were also 40 per cent more likely to be admitted compared with those of white Scottish ethnicity.

The research also shows that white Scots were one-fifth more likely to be admitted to hospital with angina than other white British, mainly English, living in Scotland.

However, residents in Scotland of white Irish ethnicity have similar rates of hospital admissions with angina and chest pain to those of white Scottish ethnicity.

Chinese people in Scotland, in contrast to other ethnic groups, have the lowest levels of hospital admissions for chest pain and angina. They study found that they are one-third less likely to be admitted to hospital than white Scots. They are also twice less likely to be admitted to hospital with chest pain and angina than people of Indian ethnicity in Scotland and are three times less likely to be admitted when compared with those of Pakistani origin.

The differences in admissions are most likely due to lifestyle-related factors such as diet, physical activity and smoking.

Such findings are important as they can help with both prevention as well as planning of healthcare services on a European-wide scale.

Professor Raj Bhopal, of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Population Health Sciences, said: "Scots have among the highest rates of heart attacks in the world, but we have shown that, among residents of Scotland, those of Pakistani origin followed by those of Indian origin have beaten them. The most amazing thing is how the Chinese population has such low rates of heart disease-everyone in Scotland has something to learn from them."

The study, published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, combined Census data on ethnicity and NHS data for hospital discharges, and community and hospital deaths.

The study was a collaboration between The University of Edinburgh, National Records of Scotland and Information Services, Scotland (ISD), and was funded by the Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government Health Directorates.

For more information please contact: Tara Womersley, Press and PR Office, tel 0131 650 9836 or 07791 355804; email Tara.Womersley@ed.ac.uk

Last modified: Monday, 23-Jan-2012 11:39:17 BST

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