Ethnic differences for heart disease risk

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

University researchers found that Sots of Pakistani origin were twice as likely to be admitted to hospital with chest pain compared with white Scots.

Hopsital admissions

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

Lower heart disease risk

Chinese people in Scotland, in contrast to other ethnic groups, have the lowest levels of hospital admissions for chest pain and angina.

The 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 three times less likely to be admitted when compared with those of Pakistani origin.

Lifestyle factors

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.

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.

Professor Raj BhopalCentre for Population Health Sciences


The study has been published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation.

It combined Census data on ethnicity and NHS data for hospital discharges, and community and hospital deaths.

The research 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.