Center for Outcome Research and Education (CORE), Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine,
Kansas University Medical Center, Wescoe Room # 4008, 3901 Rainbow Blvd., MS 1022, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA.
Over the past several years, the overall prevalence and incidence of cardiovascular diseases in general and
coronary artery diseases (CAD) in particular have declined in the United States (US). However, among South Asian in
general and South Asian immigrants in particular, a disturbing trend toward high rates of CAD has been noted. This trend
is associated with a high prevalence of conventional risk factors and metabolic syndrome in this population, yet these
conventional risk factors may not account for the greater CAD risk among SAIs. A search for additional markers is warranted,
to enable early detection and prevention of CAD in this high risk group. High density lipoprotein (HDL) is one of
the predictor of CAD and is considered to be cardio-protective. However, some of the recent studies have shown that
HDL is not only ineffective as an antioxidant but, paradoxically, appears to be pro-oxidant, and has been found to be associated
with CAD. Such HDL is called dysfunctional HDL. More research is required in South Asians to explore associations
with CAD and to enhance early detection and prevention of CAD in this high risk group. We present here an overview
on risk factors of CAD in general and dyslipidemias in particular in South Asians. In addition, concepts on dysfunctional
HDL and its impact on CAD are also presented. At the end, recommendations are made to improve and prevent
CAD morbidity and mortality in the South Asian communities.