South Asians in United States are more prone to heart attacks and diabetes when compared to other ethnic groups, suggested the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) at the First World Congress on Preventive Healthcare 2015 in Houston, Texas. Aimed at creating global awareness about preventive healthcare, the three-day Congress held July 10-12, 2015, was part of the North American Bengali Conference (NABC) 2015, organized by Tagore Society of Houston.
The AAPI highlighted that one American dies every 40 seconds in the US from cardiovascular diseases, and a disproportionate burden of this risk is seen in the 3.4 million South Asians who live in the US. This higher risk for heart attacks and cardiovascular death can be up to five times higher for South Asians when compared to other ethnic groups.
The total number of people with diabetes is believed to rise from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030. In 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes and 13% of Asian Indians had diabetes. While South Asians have a one in three lifetime risk for developing diabetes, the total costs of diagnosed diabetes in the US in 2012 were $245 billion.
Dr. Sumita Chowdhury, chairperson for the Congress, appealed to the South Asian community in US to help conquer the epidemics of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes by joining the the South Asian Cardiovascular Registry. The Congress was a way to evaluate the factors contributing to the increased disease risk among South Asians and help to formulate awareness campaigns to help modify risk factors that are specific to this ethnic group.