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We thank Garg and Verma for their comments on our article. In our study, South Asians actually had a slightly, nonsignificantly higher overall self-reported prevalence of heart disease (5.2%), compared with the Caucasian group (5.1%). However, there appeared to be a gender interaction, whereby the difference between the two groups was greater among women than men.
We agree that self-reported data on prevalence warrant further study with more objective data sources, such as clinical registries or administrative databases. There may be important ethnic differences — such as age at presentation, types of heart disease (e.g., angina, myocardial infarction v. congestive heart failure) and survival after acute cardiac events as well as recall of previous events — that influence the overall prevalence of heart disease. We hope our article will be a stimulus for additional research so appropriate interventions can be undertaken to reduce disparities in the burden of cardiovascular disease and stroke in Canadians from all ethnic groups.
For the full letter, go to: www.cmaj.ca/cgi/eletters/182/8/E301#589780