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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Public Health and Epidemiology - Radiology and Medical Imaging

Prevalence of Heart Failure and Atrial Fibrillation in Minority Ethnic Subjects: The Ethnic-Echocardiographic Heart of England Screening Study (E-ECHOES)
Published: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Author: Paramjit S. Gill et al.

by Paramjit S. Gill, Melanie Calvert, Russell Davis, Michael K. Davies, Nick Freemantle, Gregory Y. H. Lip


Limited data exists on the prevalence of heart failure amongst minority groups in the UK. To document the community prevalence and severity of left ventricular systolic dysfunction, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation, amongst the South Asian and Black African -Caribbean groups in the UK.

Methods and Results

We conducted a cross-sectional study recruiting from September 2006 to July 2009 from 20 primary care centres in Birmingham, UK. 10,902 eligible subjects invited, 5,408 participated (49.6%) and 5,354 had complete data (49.1%). Subjects had median age 58.2 years (interquartile range 51.0 to 70.0), and 2544 (47.5%) were male. Of these, 1933 (36.3%) had BMI>30 kg/m2, 1,563 (29.2%) had diabetes, 2676 (50.0%) had hypertension, 307 (5.7%) had a history of myocardial infarction, and 104 (1.9%) had history of arrhythmia. Overall, 59 (1.1%) had an Ejection Fraction<40%, and of these 40 (0.75%) were NYHA class =2; 51 subjects (0.95%) had atrial fibrillation. Of the remaining 19 patients with an EF<40%, only 4 patients were treated with furosemide. A further 54 subjects had heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.


This is the largest study of the prevalence of left ventricular systolic dysfunction, heart failure and atrial fibrillation in under-researched minority communities in the UK. The prevalence of heart failure in these minority communities appears comparable to that of the general population but less than anticipated given the high rates of cardiovascular disease in these groups. Heart failure continues to be a major cause of morbidity in all ethnic groups and preventive strategies need to be identified and implemented.