Other Chronic Disease Research

In its effort to reduce or eliminate health disparities in Asian Americans, the Center initiated research in other chronic diseases that are more prevalent in under-served and under-insured populations, including Asians Americans. Cardiovascular disease is the final common pathway from metabolic syndrome, peripheral vascular disease and chronic renal disease. Risk factors for the disease include, among other, hypertension, smoking, obesity, inactivity, psychosocial factors (e.g., stress), and heredity. Treatment options include exercise, weight management, dietary modifications, blood pressure management, lipid management, and psychosocial screening. The first phase of the Center research has targeted two significant risk factors: hypertension management and diabetes management.

A second chronic disease identified by the Center is osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is loss of bone density that leads to fractures and breaking of bones. While the disease affects more women than men, both men and women are equally affected by it in old age. Genes, age, and lifestyle are factors that predict onset and progression of the disease. Although treatable, osteoporosis is not curable, hence the important of timely intervention, particularly at a young age.

The vulnerability of Asian Americans to the disease may be attributed to a number of factors among which are: lack of awareness of and knowledge about the disease, the absence of disease symptoms, and lack of adequate healthcare. Center research is focusing on culturally and linguistically appropriate and feasible approaches to early prevention and management of the disease.