Asian Americans

What Asian Americans Need to Know About Heart Disease

The Asian American population in the United States has ancestral ties to more than 30 Asian nations and 25 Pacific Islander nations. This diversity makes it difficult to pull comprehensive facts about heart disease for this population. However, the fact remains that heart disease is the leading cause of death for Asian Americans.1

Fast Fact: Asian Americans & Heart Disease

  • Cardiovascular disease causes more deaths for Asian Americans than all forms of cancer combined.1
  • Among Asians, 6.8% have heart disease, 4.5% have coronary artery disease, 21.2% have hypertension, and 1.8% have had a stroke.
  • Asian Americans have higher mortality rates and die at an earlier age from stroke compared to White Americans.1
  • Coronary artery disease tends to occur earlier in life and in a higher percentage of the population in Asian Indians  than in other ethnic groups.2

Fast Facts: Asian Americans & Risk Factors

  • Compared to most Americans, Asian Americans are less likely to be aware of
  • high blood pressure (hypertension), have their cholesterol levels checked; or be undergoing treatment for these conditions.4
  • Available data reveals that there is a high prevalence of hypertension and stroke among Southeast Asians. 3
  • Although obesity rates are low for Asian adults, Filipino adults (14%) were more than twice as likely to be obese as Asian Indian (6%), Vietnamese (5%), or Chinese (4%) adults.
  • More than 70% of Asian Americans are physically inactive.5
  • Compared with White Americans, the risk of diagnosed diabetes is 18% higher among Asian Americans. 2
  • The highest rates of cigarette smoking are among Southeast Asians males and they start smoking early in life, putting them at greater risk for heart disease.3

Take Charge of Your Heart Health

Although the statistics above paint a troubling picture of Asian Americans and heart disease, all is not lost! There are three simple things you can do to reduce your risk for heart disease, starting today.

  1. Know your risk factors. Although your can't change your age or heredity, there are many other risk factors for heart disease that you can control.
  2. Talk to your doctor. At your next doctor's appointment, bring our list of questions and a heart health scorecard to help assess your risk for heart disease.
  3. Reduce your risk. Making simple, healthy lifestyle changes can reduce your risk for heart disease.

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This information is not a substitute for medical care. Please consult a doctor or health care provider.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

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