Taking bold action on South Asian heart health
When asked what it means to be of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, or Nepalese descent, most South Asian Americans will talk about similar things: immigration, the culture of hard work, love of food and traditions, value of family and community. What you wonít hear about is the staggering epidemic of heart disease in our communities.
South Asian Americans are the second fastest growing minority group in the country, but are four times more at risk of developing heart disease than the general population. We have a much greater risk of having a heart attack before the age of 50 and we have emerged as the ethnic group with the highest prevalence of Type 2 diabetes, a very serious condition that significantly increases the risk of heart disease. These trends are not limited to those of us who have immigrated to America either: by 2020, South Asians will make up 25 percent of the worldís population but 50 percent of global cardiovascular deaths.