Cardiovascular risk knowledge in patients of South Asian origin living with rheumatoid arthritis: data from India and the UK

Kanta Kumar, Suvrat Arya, Peter Nightingale, Tom Sheeran, Amita Aggarwal

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Background: South Asians have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) increases the risk of premature atherosclerosis. We investigated whether there was a substantial difference in the level of CVD risk knowledge among patients of South Asian origin with RA in India and in the UK. Methods: In this cross-sectional survey, patients of South Asian origin with RA from India and the UK were recruited from secondary care settings. Data were collected via Heart Disease Fact Questionnaire-Rheumatoid Arthritis (HDFQ-RA), a validated self-completion questionnaire. The HDFQ-RA was translated into Hindi and piloted among patients from South Asian background before use. Additionally, clinical and demographic data was collected. Results: Among 118 patients from each country, 84% were female and they had similar age, education level, employment status and co-morbidities. Patients from India had longer disease duration (5.5 years versus 4.1 years (p = 0.012) whereas those from the UK had higher disease activity score (4.0 + 0.8 versus 3.1 + 0.7, p < 0.01). Regarding modifiable risk factors for CVD only 51.2% from India and 51.3% in the UK were aware of them. However, awareness of the link between RA and increased risk of CVD was even more limited (32.8% in India and 34.4% in UK). Conclusion: Patients of South Asians origin with RA from both countries had limited knowledge about CVD risk. There is a need to educate them about CVD risk during consultation, as this will result in better outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number57
JournalBMC Rheumatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2020


  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Cross sectional survey
  • Ethnicity
  • Knowledge
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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