Heart disease kills a lot of South Asians but Alberta's largest heart health screening event is hoping to prevent some of those deaths.
According to several studies, South Asians are five times more likely to experience a heart attack or heart disease. For the organizers of Saturday's event, screening South Asians in Alberta is all part of a larger goal — finding out what is triggering heart disease in the community.
"We want the Alberta government to initiate or start a South Asian heart research centre," said Dr. Anmol Kapoor, a cardiologist at the screenings. "We are getting a good response from MLAs and local political leaders who want to support this initiative."
Hundreds of people showed up to get screened for indicators of heart disease and to pick up prevention information.
South Asians are Canada's fastest growing ethnic group and some at the screening say the stress of immigrating and the subsequent dietary changes are what contribute to heart disease.
By getting the message across before heart disease sets in, organizers say they can relieve some of the burden on the overloaded health care system.
"We've created this booklet which actually goes through all the classes we did here today and breaking them down into 10 simple tips or points that they can take as take home messages and apply to their everyday life," said Raman Kapoor, the event organizer.
Since South Asians often exhibit heart problems by the age of 40, they say it should be the first thing doctors look for when examining a new patient.