Your ethnicity and heart disease

Your ethnic background can increase your risk of getting cardiovascular disease.

Ethnicity and heart diseaseCardiovascular disease (CVD) is an umbrella term for all diseases of the heart and circulation, including heart disease, stroke, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and atrial fibrillation. 

For Bangladeshis, Indians and Pakistanis, and people with an African Caribbean background, cardiovascular risk can be higher than for the rest of the UK population.

How ethnicity affects your risk of heart disease

Statistics show that in the UK:

  • if you are of a South Asian background, you may be at an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease, which could lead to a heart attack
  • if you are over 65 and of a South Asian background, you are at a greater risk of having a stroke
  • if you are of an African Caribbean background, you may be more likely to have high blood pressure
  • the prevalence of type 2 diabetes for people of African Caribbean and South Asian ethnicity is much higher than in the rest of the population. 

You can make a real difference to your heart health with small lifestyle changes, by eating healthily, keeping active, and being aware of what affects your risk.


Find out about your risks and get advice on lifestyle if you are: