Background: Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a common and costly condition and is increasing at a higher rate among Asian Indians than among other ethnic groups. An understanding of how Asian Indians perceive their risk is important for health providers to develop culturally appropriate programs to raise awareness of the risk of CHD.
Objective: The aim of this survey was to investigate the attribution of risk factors for CHD among the Asian Indian community in Australia.
Methods: Asian Indian community leaders were recruited to provide their views of how their community perceived the risk of CHD. An online survey collected demographic data and information from the Illness Perception Questionnaire–Revised, which measures 6 domains of illness perception: timeline acute/chronic, consequences, emotional impact, personal control, treatment efficacy, and illness comprehension.
Results: An 84% response rate (n = 49) was achieved from Asian Indian community leaders. Heart disease and cancer were considered to be the illnesses of major concern. Participants indicated that people in their community perceived hereditary factors (90%), hypertension, stress or worry (84%), and aging (86%) as the major cause of their illnesses. Smoking, high blood pressure, and cholesterol were identified as being major risk factors for CHD.
Conclusions: These data suggest that as well as strategies to address risk factors such as diet and exercise, stress management is an important issue to consider in developing community-based programs.