Nurture is just as important as nature when it comes to maintaining a healthy heart and blood pressure, says UK charity the Blood Pressure Association (BPA).
Recent research published in the journal Nature Genetics has revealed that up to 60 million South Asian people have a gene mutation that dramatically increases the risk of developing heart disease. The BPA also recognises that people of South Asian origin are at a much higher risk of dying from heart disease or stroke, but highlights that these serious health problems can be prevented.
The BPA advises that making positive lifestyle choices – such as eating more healthily and taking regular exercise – can have a significant impact on maintaining a healthy blood pressure. This in turn will have an effect on heart health, as high blood pressure is the biggest known cause of heart disease and stroke in the UK.
To help health professionals educate people of South Asian origin on how to maintain a healthy blood pressure, the BPA has now launched a new booklet specifically targeting the South Asian community: Love your heart: A South Asian guide to controlling your blood pressure.
Mike Rich, Executive Director of the Blood Pressure Association, said: "While the research published in Nature Genetics shows an increased risk of heart disease among South Asian people, this doesn't mean heart health is just written in the genes.
"Making sure you lead a healthy and active lifestyle, that your diet is low in salt and rich in fruit and vegetables, and that you keep to a healthy weight, will all help to significantly reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure in the future, which in turn will effect your risk of heart disease and stroke.
"Our new booklets provide health professionals with a practical resource to offer patients, delivering lifestyle advice and tips for controlling blood pressure developed specifically for the South Asian community. They will undoubtedly be increasingly useful when the government begins its vascular checks programme in April."
Love your heart: A South Asian guide to controlling your blood pressure is available from the Blood Pressure Association, the UK's leading blood pressure charity.
"Mauritius is known for the high incidence of diabetes and heart disease, great emphasis is being laid on know your heart and the risk factors. Many phamphlets and booklets are being issued and NGO Like the Heart Foundation and the Cardiac centre are regularly screening patients for risks with talks." - Parmanand Ballah, Mauritius
"Good news to my ears. Anything to improve one's health directive or proactive will have my attention at all times." - V Henry