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South Asian health issues

This section provides pointers to some studies of health issues extracted mostly from Medline that are specifically concerned with South Asians, particularly women, for example, studies that show ethnic differences in incidences of certain medical conditions. The stress is on medical issues, though sociological concerns and circumstances are sometimes tied in. This is not meant to be an exhaustive survey of such studies. Also bear in mind that any one study cannot be taken to provide conclusive evidence of any phenomenon; the study that contradicts it may not be far behind.

-- Reports, Surveys, Stats -- Genetic issues
-- Heart disease -- Cancer
-- Skin
-- Pregnancy, labour and delivery -- Reproductive health and family planning
-- Emotional health -- Diabetes
-- Nutrition -- Bone disease
-- Miscellaneous General health information

Disclaimer: This information is not intended, and should not be interpreted as, a substitute for advice and treatment from a medical practioner. The opinions are those of the web maintainers only, and do not represent Sawnet or the organizations for which they work.

Reports, Surveys, Statistics

Genetic issues

Genetic disorders and birth defects relevant to Sri Lankan populations.

Genetic disorders in India. Abstract of a reference article.

Thalessemia is a blood disease which is one of the more common genetic problems in South Asia. It may confer resistance to malaria.

Consanguinity, the practice of marriage between cousins, uncles and nieces, and more distant relatives, is not uncommon in some communities in South Asia. Genetic defects are more common in children from such marriages than in the general population. Some relevant studies are listed below.

Heart disease


Brown Skin and Sunscreen. Do brown-skinned people need sunscreen, and if so, what SPF? A summary of the available data.

Pregnancy, Labour, and Delivery

Many 'standard' measurements of fetal size and pregnancy development are based on studies of Caucasian children in the US or Europe. Similar studies on Indian women are producing the unsurprising result that the 'standards' are somewhat different for different populations.
Scientific reports about pregnancy-related medical problems, nutrition, and traditional practices related to pregnancy, labour and delivery are also in this section.

Family planning and reproductive health



Nutritional issues

Emotional health

Bone disease


General Health Information

Good starting points for non-South-Asia-specific health information.
  • Yahoo's Health Section.
  • Women's Health and Medical Information
  • Women's Health Links from

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