The cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden among South Asians is high. Lifestyle interventions have been effective in the primary prevention of CVD, but this has not been replicated, through a synthesis of randomised trials, in South Asians.
Four electronic databases (MEDLINE, Embase, CENTRAL and CINAHL), two clinical trial registries and references of included articles were searched through June 2022 (featuring ≥90% South Asian participants). Random-effects pairwise meta-analyses were performed, and heterogeneity was quantified with the I2statistic. The Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) framework was used to report on the quality of evidence (International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews registration (PROSPERO).
Thirty-five studies were included. Twelve tested diet and physical activity interventions; 18 tested diet alone; and 5 tested physical activity alone. All reported effects of the intervention(s) on at least one established risk factor for CVD, including blood pressure (systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and blood lipids (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLc) or triglycerides). No trials reported clinical CVD. There is moderate-quality evidence that diet and physical activity interventions improve SBP (mean difference (MD) −2.72 mm Hg, 95% CI −4.11 to –1.33) and DBP (MD −1.53 mm Hg, 95% CI −2.57 to –0.48); high-quality to moderate-quality evidence that diet-only interventions improve DBP (MD −2.05 mm Hg, 95% CI −2.93 to −1.16) and blood lipids (triglycerides (MD −0.10 mmol/L, 95% CI −0.14 to −0.06) and LDLc (MD −0.19 mmol/L, 95% CI −0.32 to −0.06)); and moderate-quality evidence that physical activity-only interventions improve SBP (MD −9.7 mm Hg, 95% CI −11.05 to −8.35), DBP (MD −7.29 mm Hg, 95% CI −8.42 to −6.16) and HDLc (MD 0.08 mmol/L, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.11) compared with usual care.
Lifestyle interventions improve blood pressure and blood lipid profiles in adult South Asians at risk of CVD. Tailored interventions should be used to modify cardiovascular risk factors in this at-risk group.
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