Educational Initiatives

Research over the past 50 years has clearly demonstrated that heart disease is a multifactorial disease involving gene-environmental interaction. The Framingham Heart Study and several other studies in US and Europe have identified several modifiable risk factors that are common for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. “Today’s cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are tomorrow’s CVDs!” Many of these risk factors not only predict but precede CVD by 20-30 years. It is often not appreciated that many of the risk factors are related to unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and tobacco use – all of which are highly amenable to aggressive lifestyle modifications. Asian Indians require lifestyle modification at an earlier age and at a lower threshold because of early development of risk factors than other populations.

Physician Education

  • Brought global awareness of the high rate of heart disease and diabetes among Asian Indians to physicians and the public alike. Initiated aggressive public health campaigns on preventive techniques.
  • Gave nearly 1000 lectures in major cities in the US, Canada, and India on “How to beat the heart disease and diabetes epidemic among Asian Indians” at various national and international medical conventions, seminars and CME (continuing medical education) programs.
  • Continue to educate cardiologists, physicians, and the public about the latest developments in prevention and treatment of CVD with a special focus on South Asians.
  • Created a website that serves as a vital resource center of information on heart disease, particularly Asian Indians and other South Asians.
  • Developed several slide sets for lectures for the public and for the physicians.
  • Continue to conduct educational programs and CME programs for the physicians in various cities in US, India and other countries.
  • Continue to educate the physicians in putting equal emphasis on prevention of the diseases as is given to treatment of the diseases.
  • Made pertinent scientific information on these diseases among South Asians available to cardiologists, internists, and general practitioners to assist in educating their patients.
  • Distributed several thousand complimentary reprints of scientific articles (approximate value $50,000) to researchers, scientists, and physicians.
  • Distributed 5000 copies of the book – comprehensive review on lipoprotein(a) (Disease-A-Month, January 2006) to doctors attending various medical seminars.
  • Published a data-based book, “How to Beat the Heart Disease Epidemic among South Asians – A Prevention and Management Guide for Asian Indians and their Doctors” in collaboration with Advanced Heart Lipid Clinic, Downers Grove, IL, USA and distributed more than 2000 copies to cardiologists and key opinion leaders in the field. The book can be previewed and selected sections can be downloaded free.
  • Educated physicians on the lower target of cholesterol for Indians through seminars and distribution of 1000 copies of the Recommendations of the Indo-US Health Summit. The recommended cholesterol is less than 160mg/dl and the recommended LDL-C is less than 100mg/dl. These numbers should be 30mg/dl lower for Indians with heart disease or diabetes.

Public Education

  • Wrote more than 100 newspaper and magazine articles empowering the public to undertake proactive measures to prevent and manage heart disease at an early age.
  • Gave several television, radio, magazine, and newspaper interviews often following the publication of scientific articles in medical journals.
  • Conducted several workshops for the public on the latest prevention and treatment strategies in a simple and easy to understand language.
  • Developed and disseminated Indian-specific cut points for preventive therapies.
  • Developed and popularized the lower cut-points for obesity and abdominal obesity for Asian Indians and South Asians that are consistent with those of the International Diabetic Federation (IDF), World Health Organization (WHO), Indian Consensus Group, and Indo-US Health Summit.
  • Continue to educate the public that desirable waist girth for an Asian Indian male is less than 90 cm as opposed to 102 cm among Europid males; the desirable waist girth for an Asian Indian female is less than 80 cm as opposed to 88 cm among Europid females.
  • Continue to educate the public regarding the Indian specific cut-points for overweight and obesity. An Indian is considered overweight when the Body Mass Index (BMI) is greater than 23 as opposed to 25 in Europid men and women; likewise, an Indian is considered obese when the BMI is greater than 25 as opposed to greater than 30 in Europid men and women.

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