Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani


If you are of a South Asian background, you may be at an increased risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases.

You may also be more likely to have high blood pressure and at greater risk of having a heart attack.


You can make a real difference to your heart health with small lifestyle changes:

  • Not smoking. Look at our stop smoking resources to help you beat cigarettes.
  • Reducing your alcohol intake. Find out how much you should drink.

Managing your weight

Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of coronary heart disease. People who carry too much weight around their middle have a greater risk of developing coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Research shows that if you’re South Asian you may be at increased risk of some health conditions at a smaller waist measurement than people from white European backgrounds.

You can work out if you're at increased risk by simply measuring your waist. Find the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips, and measure around your middle at a point mid-way between these. For many people this will be at the level of the tummy button. Remember not to breathe in! Then check your measurement in the box below.

If you are at high risk, don’t panic – making simple changes to your diet can help you lose weight.


                                       waist measurement chart


Cut the fat

Cooking or frying with ghee and butter, and adding them to dishes, increases the amount of saturated fat in your diet. 

Try grilling your food instead of frying it. Or use pure vegetable, rapeseed, sunflower or olive oil instead.

Hold the salt

Eating too much salt can give you high blood pressure.

Slowly reduce the amount of salt you add each day and don't add it at the table. Try adding more herbs and spices to bump up the flavour of your favourite dishes.

Take it away

The way many take away curries are prepared does not make them a healthy option - there really is no substitute for home cooking!

Join Heart Matters for free and use our online recipe finder for inspiration.

Health check

Aged 40-74 and living in England? You can get a free NHS health check.

A health check is an assessment carried out by your GP or practice nurse to find out your risk of heart and circulatory diseases and other conditions.

Based on your results, your GP or nurse will advise you on what you can do to keep your heart healthy, and consider treatment - such as medicine - to protect your heart.

Free health checks are also available in Wales for the over-50s and in Scotland for those aged between 40 and 64.