Study finds differences in cardiovascular health, risks among Asian American groups

Study finds differences in cardiovascular health, risks among Asian American groupsStudy finds differences in cardiovascular health, risks among Asian American groups
via HansMartinPaul
Ryan General
November 16, 2023
New research has revealed significant disparities in cardiovascular health among Asian American ethnic groups.
Understanding a diverse group: A recent study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions conference this week looked into the cardiovascular health of Asian Americans, the fastest-growing racial group in the U.S. Comprising 7% of the U.S. population, this diverse community faces unique challenges and requires individualized approaches to prevention and treatment. 
About the findings: Researchers from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey covering 2013 to 2018 and representing about 13 million Asian adults. In the study, the scientists discovered distinct variations among major ethnic groups: Chinese, Asian Indian, Filipino and a fourth group with “other Asian heritage.”
After adjusting for age and sex, Filipino, Asian Indian and other Asian adults were found to be notably more prone to hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and obesity than their Chinese counterparts. The disparities persisted despite taking into account health behaviors and social determinants such as education, health insurance and income.
Filipino adults, in particular, showed a significantly higher likelihood of having a history of heart attacks, coronary artery disease and strokes than Chinese adults. For other groups, the prevalence rates were similar to the Chinese.
Need for further research: The study’s lead researcher, Sudheesha Perera, emphasized the need for more in-depth analysis, as he noted that the “rates of smoking are higher amongst Filipino adults.” He also calls for a nuanced understanding beyond the common perception of the Asian community as a monolith.
Dr. Latha Palaniappan of Stanford University, who was not involved in the study, similarly advocates for precision medicine that considers the unique health profiles within the growing and diverse Asian American population. To address a concerning lack of data on stroke risks among different Asian groups, she highlighted the importance of an increased participation of Asian Americans in clinical trials. She also urged the medical community to ensure that interventions are tested across diverse subgroups.
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