South Asians (SAs) are at heightened risk for cardiovascular disease as compared to other ethnic groups, facing premature and more severe coronary artery disease, and decreased insulin sensitivity. This disease burden can only be partially explained by conventional risk factors, suggesting the need for a specific cardiovascular risk profile for SAs. Current research, as explored through a comprehensive literature review, suggests the existence of population specific genetic risk factors such as lipoprotein(a), as well as population specific gene modulating factors. This review catalogues the available research on cardiovascular disease and genetics, anthropometry, and pathophysiology, and cancer genetics among SAs, with a geographical focus on the U.S. A tailored risk profile will hinge upon population customized classification and treatment guidelines, informed by continued research.
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