The prevalence of ECG abnormalities indicating the presence of coronary heart disease was examined in the Melanesian (444 men and 457 women) and Asian Indian (408 men and 435 women) population living in Fiji. The aim of the present analysis was to determine the levels of coronary risk factors in people with diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or normal glucose tolerance. The prevalence of ECG abnormalities suggesting coronary heart disease (Q-waves, ST-depression or T-wave changes) was higher among women than men and among Asian Indians than Melanesians. The prevalence of ECG abnormalities was highest in diabetic subjects, intermediate in people with IGT and lowest in people who had normal glucose tolerance. People with IGT were more likely than others to have high risk factor levels. In people with IGT the increased levels of other coronary risk factors might explain a great deal of the increased prevalence of the ECG abnormalities as compared with the prevalence in those with normal glucose tolerance. Also in diabetic subjects, the levels of other coronary risk factors were increased in those who had ECG abnormalities, but not more than was the case with IGT, so that diabetes itself seemed to remain as the major identified risk factor for ECG abnormalities. The prevalence of diabetes in our study populations, especially in Asian Indians, was very high. This suggests that diabetes is the major risk factor for coronary heart disease in such populations.
- Diabetes status
- ECG abnormalities