Filipino, Vietnamese heart disease death risk higher than other Asian-American groups

By Tauren Dyson

March 20 (UPI) -- Certain groups, or subgroups, within the Asian-American community are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than others, new research shows.

In particular, Asian Indian, Filipino and Vietnamese people living in the United States have the greatest risk for losing years of life to heart disease or stroke than other Asian-American subgroups, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association.


"Asians in the U.S. are often aggregated, masking important differences between the subgroups," Latha Palaniappan, a researcher at Stanford University and study author, told UPI.

Palaniappan says those subgroups may be more vulnerable to cardiovascular disease due to risk factors like cholesterol, diabetes and blood pressure.

Even within those subgroups, Filipinos have more grim health outcomes. Filipino adults have a 70 percent higher risk of developing diabetes than adults in other Asian-American groups.

Between 2000 and 2015, the Asian population in the U.S. grew by 73 percent, making it the country's fastest-growing racial or ethnic group. The population is expected to reach 41 million by 2050, according to the Pew Research Center.

On average, heart disease claims Asian Indians lives 17 years sooner than any other Asian-American subgroup. The condition accounts for nearly 25 percent of all potential life lost among Asian Indians, according to the study.


Meanwhile, Filipino and Vietnamese people died sooner from a cerebrovascular disease like stroke or vascular dementia.

The most glaring findings from the study were cardiovascular risks facing women. Across all Asian-American subgroups, women had more years of life lost from stroke than white women.

To reduce these risks, Palaniappan recommends quitting smoking, along with cutting cholesterol and blood pressure.

"One of the benefits of the study is that we've identified these differences among Asian subgroups. Now we can create culturally-tailored and personalized preventive programs and guidelines for each group based on its unique risks," Palaniappan said in an earlier news release.

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