The first international South Asian conference to focus on cardiovascular health will be held in-person and virtually Sept. 16-17 at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick.
The event — “Advancing South Asian Cardiovascular Health: Understanding Unique Risk Factors and Health Needs to Promote Shared Decision-Making” — is being hosted by the SKN Foundation, a nonproﬁt organization, and Eastern Virginia Medical School.
Saint Peter’s University Hospital is an educational partner of the conference, along with Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Saint Peter’s and the SKN Foundation continue to collaborate in improving the health of South Asians living in the U.S., having established the SKN Diabetes Center at the hospital in 2017.
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Organizers said the conference hopes to bring together the voices of world-renowned experts in the field, as well as patients and community members who live with heart disease, in an effort to understand how collaborative decision-making can help improve heart health outcomes in South Asians in the U.S.
At this conference, internationally renowned researchers and clinicians will lead sessions addressing cardiovascular disease risk factors, barriers to management, the role of Big Data, community prevention strategies and the state of South Asian cardiovascular health in the U.S.
Keynote speakers include Salim Yusuf, a distinguished professor of medicine at McMaster University in Ontario; and Raj Bhopal, emeritus professor of public health at the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, U.K.
“South Asians are among the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the U.S. and show high rates of heart disease compared to other demographics,” Dr. Naveen Mehrotra, pediatrician and founder of the SKN Foundation, said.
“They have few established resources related to their high risk for cardiovascular disease, with significant implications for their health and well-being. Poor outcomes may be due to a lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate education materials for patients, inadequate patient knowledge of the health care system, lack of health insurance and other social determinants. This diverse population also often faces tremendous cultural, socioeconomic, linguistic and structural obstacles to achieving good health.”
In order to begin reversing this knowledge deficit, providers, patients and shareholders need to be able to identify risk factors, including social determinants; learn about cardiovascular disease management from worldwide programs; and understand the value of research participation for future work on managing cardiovascular disease in South Asians in the U.S.