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About the South Asian Heart Center


The South Asian Heart Center is the first major non-profit response to the growing epidemic of heart disease (coronary artery disease or CAD) among people from the Indian sub-continent. Men and women in this population are at four times the risk of coronary artery disease compared to other ethnicities - despite often being vegetarian, non-smoking, and lacking other traditional risk factors. In fact, the disease follows a more rapid, severe and malignant course in this group, with 50% of heart attacks or strokes occurring before the age of 50, almost ten to fifteen years earlier than people from other areas. Studies in densely populated areas across the world, ranging from New York to Chennai, indicate that CAD affects 10-12% of urban South Asians. The World Health Organization (WHO) had predicted that by 2010, 60% of the world's heart disease burden will be borne by Indians of South Asian descent, affecting over 60 million people globally. Research indicates that while South Asians bear the same risks attributed to heart disease in other populations, these manifest with higher severity and at younger ages. Studies also show the genetic disposition for diabetes, dyslipidemia, and other emerging metabolic and inflammatory markers in this population. This, combined with sedentary lifestyles, and a diet rich in saturated fat and high in simple carbohydrates, contributes to the high incidence of heart disease in this community. In early 2004, El Camino Hospital, a community non-profit organization based in Silicon Valley, California, initiated the concept of a prevention program to help stem this epidemic. While South Asians made up only 3% of the hospital’s district clientele, they represented an alarmingly high 6% of the acute coronary artery syndrome cases reported during a three-year period. Since 2006, the Center has been offering a screening program with cardiovascular risk assessment and stratification, programs for lifestyle modification, and on-going heart-health coaching for its participants. The Center has developed the AIM to PreventTM methodology (Assessment, Intervention, and Management) to address the unmet clinical need for aggressive screening and risk factor modification in this high-risk community, while educating participants and physicians in the process. It does not medically manage patients, but serves as a resource for physicians and their patients to obtain more extensive risk assessment and counseling. The Center aims to be a global center of excellence, to help stem the worldwide heart disease epidemic through prevention, and when necessary, treatment. In pursuing this vision, it aims to forge a commitment and partnership between South Asian community members, healthcare professionals, and corporate employers. The Center envisions receiving support from volunteer leadership and staffing; financial contributions from community leaders and Center participants, foundation and corporate grants; employee giving campaigns sponsored by corporations; and fees from medical and corporate establishments utilizing the Center's program and services. Call (650) 940-7242 for further details. The Center’s Strategic Initiatives Outreach Raise global understanding and awareness of the severity of the pandemic, and methods to combat it

Education Promote early diagnosis, treatment, and lifestyle changes to prevent onset and disease progression

Prevention Screen participants with the AIM to Prevent™ risk reduction program, enabling protective behaviors

South Asian Heart Center, El Camino Hospital 2500 Grant Road, Mtn. View, CA 94040

Research Identify causative factors elevating risk; create risk prediction tool; assess program effectiveness

Executive Summary

Status: Non-profit, 501(c) 3 Tax-ID: 94-2823235

Executive Summary  

South Asian Heart Center Executive Summary