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First International South Asian Cardiovascular Health Conference to be Held in NJ

September 9, 2022

Advancing South Asian Cardiovascular Health: Understanding Unique Risk Factors and Health Needs to Promote Shared Decision-Making,’ the first international South Asian conference to focus on cardiovascular health, will be held in-person and virtually from September 16-17 at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, NJ.

Hosted by the SKN Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to promote the total wellness of the person and community through education, and Eastern Virginia Medical School, this conference brings together the voices of world-renowned experts in the field, as well as patients and community members who live with heart disease, in an effort to understand how collaborative decision-making can help improve heart health outcomes in South Asians in the United States. Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a member of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, is an educational partner of the conference, along with Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Saint Peter’s and the SKN Foundation continue to collaborate in improving the health of South Asians living in the US, having established the SKN Diabetes Center at the hospital in 2017.

Keynote speakers include Salim Yusuf, D.Phil, FRCPC, FRSC, OC, Marion W. Burke chair of Cardiovascular Disease at the Heart and Stroke Foundation and distinguished professor of Medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada; and Raj Bhopal, CBE, DSc (hon), MD, BSc, MBChB, MPH, FRCP(E), FFPH, emeritus professor of Public Health at the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

“South Asians are among the fastest growing ethnic groups in the US and show high rates of heart disease compared to other demographics,” said Naveen Mehrotra, MD, MPH, pediatrician and founder of the SKN Foundation. “They have few established resources related to their high risk for cardiovascular disease, with significant implications for their health and well-being. Poor outcomes may be due to a lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate education materials for patients, inadequate patient knowledge of the healthcare system, lack of health insurance, and other social determinants. This diverse population also often faces tremendous cultural, socioeconomic, linguistic, and structural obstacles to achieving good health.”

In order to begin reversing this knowledge deficit, providers, patients, and shareholders need to be able to identify risk factors, including social determinants; learn about cardiovascular disease management from worldwide programs; and understand the value of research participation for future work on managing cardiovascular disease in South Asians in the US.

“Better awareness among South Asians, the readiness of South Asian young adults to adopt healthy behaviors, the cooperation of care systems to create culturally appropriate resources, and compassionate, responsive actions from those who treat and support these individuals are all necessary ingredients to reverse the deadly trend of heart disease in young South Asians,” said Meena Murthy, MD, FACE, chief, Division of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Metabolism at Saint Peter’s. “SKN has gathered global experts and thought leaders to shed light on raising awareness, to share innovative strategies for early detection of high risks, to educate on cost-effective best practices and to pave the way for future research methods to achieve better South Asian heart health outcomes.”

At this conference, internationally renowned researchers and clinicians will lead sessions addressing cardiovascular disease risk factors, barriers to management, the role of big data, community prevention strategies, and the state of South Asian cardiovascular health in the US.

To register for Advancing South Asian Cardiovascular Health, visit


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