• Fiji is a small island-nation of less than a million people (883,125) with Indians comprising of about 38%.
  • The prevalence of obesity (BMI >25 among Indians in Fiji is as high as 75%).1
  • As identified in 1970, diabetes continues to be a substantial population health problem in Fiji affecting 41% of the population over the age of 40.2
  • The prevalence of coronary artery disease in men aged 30-69 years was double among Indians (17%) compared to the Melanesians (9%).3
  • Indians with diabetes also have a higher risk of heart disease than the Melanesians, the Fiji natives. For example, compared to people without diabetes, the relative risk of developing heart disease among diabetics is four times higher in Indians compared to only two times higher in Melanesians.4, 5
  • Indians in Fiji also have very high mortality rates from diabetes and heart disease.4, 5


1. Brian G, Ramke J, Maher L, Page A, Fischer-Harder K, Sikivou B. Body mass index among Melanesian and Indian Fijians aged >/= 40 years living in Fiji. Asia Pac J Public Health. Jan 2011;23(1):34-43.

2.  Brian G, Ramke J, Maher L, Page A, Szetu J. The prevalence of diabetes among adults aged 40 years and over in Fiji. N Z Med J. Dec 17 2010;123(1327):68-75.

3. Sicree RA, Tuomilehto J, Zimmet P, et al. Electrocardiographic abnormalities amongst Melanesian and Indian men of Fiji: prevalence and associated factors. Int J Cardiol. Apr 1988;19(1):27-38.

4. Collins VR, Dowse GK, Cabealawa S, Ram P, Zimmet PZ. High mortality from cardiovascular disease and analysis of risk factors in Indian and Melanesian Fijians. Int J Epidemiol. 1996;25(1):59-69.

5. Collins VR, Dowse GK, Ram P, Cabealawa S, Zimmet PZ. Non-insulin-dependent diabetes and 11-year mortality in Asian Indian and Melanesian Fijians. Diabet Med. 1996;13(2):125-132.

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