New Bill Would Raise South Asian Heart Health Awareness

New legislation introduced on June 5 by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) would go a long way toward reducing the burden of diabetes, risk of heart disease, decreased quality of life, and untimely death within South Asian communities in the U.S. The South Asian Heart Health Awareness and Research Act of 2019 would provide grant funding for research and implementation of awareness campaigns addressing topics like nutritional education and lifestyle changes that reduce the risks of heart disease and diabetes.

"South Asians living in the U.S. are more likely to die from heart disease than other Americans," said ACC President Richard J. Kovacs, MD, FACC. "The ACC strongly supports passage of the South Asian Heart Health Awareness and Research Act of 2019, which would greatly expand research and outreach efforts necessary to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health among our South Asian population. We thank Congresswoman Jayapal for her leadership and look forward to working with Congress and our counterparts in the health care space to move this bill forward."

Efforts to promote the legislation began during ACC's 2017 Legislative Conference when Fellow in Training (FIT) member and Grassroots Award recipient, Sandeep Krishnan, MD, FACC, formed a connection over the issue with Rep. Jayapal. This relationship developed into a series of practice visits and culminated with a briefing on Capitol Hill in April 2018, featuring ACC FIT member Jill Steiner, MD, as a panelist. ACC members also advocated for the bill on Capitol Hill as part of the College's 2018 Legislative Conference.

Read more about the impacts of cardiovascular disease on the South Asian community in the May issue of Cardiology magazine.

Keywords: ACC Advocacy, Diabetes Mellitus, Heart Diseases, Cardiovascular Diseases

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