Multiple vascular risk factors may confer very high risk, but the degree of commonality between risk factors is unclear, particularly among ethnic minorities. Furthermore, it is unknown what impact this commonality will have on the UK-based NHS Health Check Programme; a vascular disease prevention programme that screens individuals aged 40–74 years. We estimated the joint prevalence of diabetes, impaired glucose regulation (IGR), high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and chronic kidney disease (CKD) among White Europeans and South Asians who would be eligible for the Programme.
Cross-sectional data were analysed for 3707 participants (23.6% South Asian) in a screening study set in Leicestershire, UK. Diabetes and IGR were screen-detected. CKD may have been diagnosed previously. IGR was defined as impaired fasting glucose and/or impaired glucose tolerance, and high CVD risk as 10 year risk greater than 20%.
Among males, South Asians had higher prevalence than White Europeans of diabetes (9.0% vs. 3.9%, respectively, p<0.001), IGR (12.5% vs. 9.2%, p = 0.06), and high CVD risk (39.1% vs. 33.1%, p = 0.03), but lower prevalence of CKD (1.5% vs. 4.6%, p<0.01). Among females, South Asians had higher prevalence than White Europeans of diabetes (7.4% vs. 3.3%, p<0.001), but lower prevalence of CKD (3.7% vs. 13.0%, p <0.001) and CVD risk (2.4% vs. 4.6%, p = 0.03), and a non-significant difference in IGR prevalence. At least one risk factor was diagnosed in 34% of participants, and all of them in 0.4%, suggesting that 723,589–734,589 more individuals each year will require monitoring following implementation of the Health Check Programme.
The collective prevalence of risk factors for vascular disease in this population was high, but there was little overlap between the risk factors, and prevalence differed by ethnicity. This has implications for service delivery and resources, and should be considered when planning screening and intervention programmes.