Advancing South Asian Cardiovascular Health

An In-Person & Virtual International CE accredited Conference Focusing on South Asian Heart Health

The international conference brought together the voices of world-renowned experts in the field as well as patients and community members who live with heart disease in an efort to understand how collaborative decision-making can help improve heart health outcomes in South Asians in the United States. South Asians are among the fastest growing ethnic groups in the US, and show high rates of heart disease, as compared to other populations.

South Asians (SA) are among the fastest growing racial/ethnic groups in the US and bear a highly disproportionate burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD). SAs have the highest CVD rates among all racial/ethnic groups in the US, with a significantly higher prevalence of coronary artery disease (CAD), type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and a higher percentage of body fat than other immigrant groups and whites. Also, SAs tend to develop CAD at a younger age, often before 40 in men, and are more likely to die from CAD than other ethnic groups.

SAs in the US have few established resources related to their high risk for CVD, with significant implications for their health and well-being. Poor CVD outcomes management in SAs may be due to a lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate education materials for patients, inadequate patient knowledge of the healthcare system, lack of health insurance, and other social determinants – an area of further research. This diverse population also often faces tremendous cultural, socioeconomic, linguistic, and structural obstacles to achieving good health. Compounding these challenges, there is a dearth of detailed data on the unique risks, etiologic mechanisms, and effective interventions for CVD in first- and second-generation SAs in the US. This can lead to sub-optimal management of CVD, its risk factor modification, and thus increased recurrent CAD events, exacerbating racial/ethnic disparities and increasing the economic burden of CVD in the US.

In order to begin reversing this knowledge deficit, providers, patients, and shareholders need to be able to 1) identify risk factors, including social determinants, 2) learn about CVD management from worldwide programs, 3) understand the value of research participation in establishing priorities for future work on managing CVD in SAs in the US.

This international conference on South Asian cardiovascular health was designed to provide a high-quality scientific forum in a collaborative environment, which included patients and providers. Internationally renowned researchers and clinicians lead sessions addressing
CVD risk factors, barriers to management, the role of Big Data, community prevention strategies, and the state of South Asian cardiovascular health in the United States from the AHA, ADA, and NIH perspectives.

Conference Summary Report

Salim Yusuf, D.Phil, FRCPC, FRSC, O.C

Heart and Stroke Foundation/Marion W. Burke Chair in Cardiovascular Disease

Distinguished University Professor of Medicine, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada

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Raj Bhopal, CBE, DSc (hon), MD, BSc, MBChB, MPH, FRCP(E), FFPH

Emeritus Professor of Public Health Edinburgh Migration, Ethnicity and Health Research Group, Usher Institute, Medical School, University of Edinburgh

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Guillermo Umpierrez


President, Medicine & Science, American Diabetes Association

Professor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine;

Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism,

Chief of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Grady Health Systems,

Emory University School of Medicine, GA

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Donald Lloyd-Jones


President, American Heart Association

Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine.

Eileen M. Foell Professor. Professor of Preventive Medicine

(Epidemiology), Medicine (Cardiology) and Pediatrics,

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, IL

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Arun Chockalingam


Professor of Medicine and Global Health, University of Toronto

Professor and Advisor to the Dean on Global Health, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, Canada

Founding Director, Office of Global Health, NHLBI, NIH

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Yuling Hong


Chief, Epidemiology Branch

Division of Cardiovascular Sciences


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Alka Kanaya


Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), CA

Co-Leader, Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America (MASALA) Study

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Ashish Mathur

B.Tech, MS

Co- Founder & Executive Director, South Asian Heart Center, El Camino Hospital, Mountain View, CA

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V. Mohan

MD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Ireland), PhD, DSc, D.c (Hon. Causa), FNASc, FASc, FNA, FACE, FACP, FTWAS, MACP, FRS (Edinburgh)

Chairman, Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre of Excellence in Diabetes Care, Southern India President and Director, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Chennai, India

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Latha Palaniappan


Professor of Medicine (Primary Care and Population Health), Stanford University School of Medicine, CA

Scientific Director, Precision Genomics and Pharmacogenomics in Primary Care, Stanford Division of Primary Care and Population Health

Faculty Co-Director, Stanford Biobank

Co-Founder and Co-Director, Center for Asian Health Research and Education (CARE), Stanford Medicine

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Daniel J. Rader


Chief, Division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics

Associate Director, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics

Director, Preventive Cardiovascular Program

Seymour Gray Professor of Molecular Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, PA

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Salim Virani


Professor in Cardiology and Cardiovascular Research

Director, Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Training Program, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Co-Director, VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Health Services Research & Development

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Sunita Dodani MBBS (MD), FCPS, MSc, PhD, FAHA

Professor of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine & Professor, School of Health Professions (SHP)

Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), & Founding Director, EVMS-Sentara Healthcare Analytics and Delivery Science Institute (HADSI)

Founder and Chair, Health Equity Collaborative of Virginia

Board Member, American Heart Association- National Research Committee

Board Director, American Heart Association- Hampton Roads Chapter

Naveen Mehrotra, MD, MPH

Director, My Whole Child Pediatrics

Founder and Executive Director, SKN Foundation

Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Rutgers-RWJ Medical School

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Rutgers-RWJ School of Public Health

Provider Perspectives on CVD Care in South Asians Panel Moderator

Dr. Meena S. Murthy, MD, FACE

Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Metabolism

Director, Thyroid and Diabetes Center

Director, South Asian Institute and SKN South Asian Diabetes Center

Saint Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ

South Asian Patient & Family Voices Panel Moderator

Dr. Aparna Kalbag

Harkesh Thakur

Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Nirman Tulsyan