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  • HFpEF
  • HFrEF
  • South Asians
  • atherosclerosis
  • diabetes
  • heart failure
  • multi-omics
  • subclinical CVD

Cardiovascular disease risk and pathophysiology in South Asians: Can longitudinal multi-omics shed light?

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Journal Title:

Wellcome Open Research


Volume 5, Number


, Pages 255-255

Type of Work:



Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality in South Asia, with rapidly increasing prevalence of hypertension, type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and hyperlipidemia over the last two decades. Atherosclerotic CVD (ASCVD) affects South Asians earlier in life and at lower body weights, which is not fully explained by differential burden of conventional risk factors. Heart failure (HF) is a complex clinical syndrome of heterogeneous structural phenotypes including two major clinical subtypes, HF with preserved (HFpEF) and reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). The prevalence of HF in South Asians is also rising with other metabolic diseases, and HFpEF develops at younger age and leaner body mass index in South Asians than in Whites. Recent genome-wide association studies, epigenome-wide association studies and metabolomic studies of ASCVD and HF have identified genes, metabolites and pathways associated with CVD traits. However, these findings were mostly driven by samples of European ancestry, which may not accurately represent the CVD risk at the molecular level, and the unique risk profile of CVD in South Asians. Such bias, while formulating hypothesis-driven research studies, risks missing important causal or predictive factors unique to South Asians. Importantly, a longitudinal design of multi-omic markers can capture the life-course risk and natural history related to CVD, and partially disentangle putative causal relationship between risk factors, multi-omic markers and subclinical and clinical ASCVD and HF. In conclusion, combining high-resolution untargeted metabolomics with epigenomics of rigorous, longitudinal design will provide comprehensive unbiased molecular characterization of subclinical and clinical CVD among South Asians. A thorough understanding of CVD-associated metabolomic profiles, together with advances in epigenomics and genomics, will lead to more accurate estimates of CVD progression and stimulate new strategies for improving cardiovascular health.
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