Cardiovascular disease (CVD or heart disease) was the leading cause of death for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) men andwomen in 1980 and continues to remain the top disease killer for AAPIs in 2010. The lack of progress in a generation’s time poses an important public health challenge, especially in the Chicago metropolitan area where there are approximately 558,000 people of Asian descent, making this area the 6th largest concentration of AAPIs in the nation and largest in the Midwest region. Heart disease in AAPIs is highly correlated with adult diabetes mellitus, a co-morbidity that increases the health burden for Asian immigrant populations who are already highly vulnerable to negative health outcomes. 2008 NHIS data suggests that the prevalence of diabetes mellitus is higher among Asian Americans (4.3-8.2%) than Caucasians (3.8-6%). For some ethnic groups (e.g., South Asians) diabetes prevalence was as high as 14%. Research shows that despite the “model minority myth” that surrounds Asians, many tend to engage in poor health behaviors. Only 17.8% of Asian Americans met 2008 Federal Physical Acitivity Guidelines. Some Asian ethnicities tend to have high rates of smoking. For example, a survey conducted in Chicago’s Chinatown area revealed that over 30% of Chinese men living in this area smoke. Studies have shown that immigrant AAPIs also underutilize health services (NIH, 2000). Working in collaboration with community-based organization (CBO) partners, AHC aims to address these and other risk factors in order to reduce CVD and diabetes incidence in Chicago’s AAPI population.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Since 2012. the Asian Health Coalition has implemented “Your Health is Golden”, an evidence-based cardiovascular health self-management curriculum adapted from the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). This six week curriculum targets medically underserved and at-risk Asian communities and aims to inform program participants regarding physical activity recommendations, nutrition, smoking, and substance abuse. It also aims to increase understanding regarding cardiovascular disease and diabetes so that program participants are better able to discuss their health issues with their physicians. This project is timely and well-aligned with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Healthy Chicago Initiative which was unveiled in July 2011 and reflects the City’s public health agenda through 2020. One of the Healthy Chicago core priorities highlighted in the blueprint action plan is improving cardiovascular health (heart disease and stroke).
TARGET POPULATION: Asian American Immigrant and Refugees Communities in Metropolitan Chicago
• Chinese Mutual Aid Association
• Vietnamese Association of Illinois
1. Increase awareness and knowledge of heart disease/diabetes co-morbidity among the target communities through the development of a complementary culturally and linguistically appropriate heart health education curriculum;
2.Improve self-management practices and self-efficacy among target community members attending heart health sessions; and
3. Document lessons learned for potential dissemination and replication of the heart health model for culturally and linguistically competent health education targeting diabetes and heart disease co-morbidity.
CONTACT: For more information please contact Katherine Mueller-Demos at 312.372.7070, ext:224 or email@example.com