Consistency Versus Equity – Cardiovascular Disease Management For South Asians in the United Kingdom

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Jeetesh V. Patel1,2 , Paul Flinders1 , Brian D.A. Gammon2 , Girish S. Dwivedi3 , Richard P. Steeds3

No potential conflict of interest.

EMJ Cardiol. ;1[1]:86-90.

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An increased risk of coronary heart disease was an immediate healthcare concern following the mass arrival of South Asian immigrants to the UK, and it has since contributed as a persistent source of health inequality. The process of risk assessment and management in the UK has been backed by a strong body of scientific evidence, but there are limitations. For example, the cardiovascular risk profile amongst South Asians appears different to Whites. Health policies, which strive for consistency in risk assessment and management, can exaggerate such weaknesses, contributing to inequalities in healthcare. There is an urgent need for scientific proof that can improve the availability of tailored prevention and intervention services. Deficit in communication is a key concern for many South Asians and non-English speaking patients, which not only impacts on the access to services, but also creates critical delays with respect to diagnosis and treatment for acute myocardial infarction. Linguistic tools and language education perhaps play an undervalued role in coronary heart disease management.

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