Taking a Global View of Heart Disease
While obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) affect everybody, research has shown that certain populations, such as South Asians and Aboriginal peoples, are at generally higher risk than those of Caucasian origin.
Dr. Sonia Anand, Canada Research Chair in Ethnic Diversity and Cardiovascular Disease, is identifying health behaviour risk factors in diverse ethnic groups. Anand is examining factors such as elevated blood glucose levels, dietary patterns and genetic factors to develop prevention strategies to reduce cardio-metabolic risk factors and CVD for those most in jeopardy. She is also examining these factors in diverse populations across the infant-child-adult life span.
Anand aims to identify adverse health behaviours and genetic factors that will shed light on the causes of CVD risk factors among high-risk groups. Identification of these behaviours and genetic factors could also improve the accuracy of risk prediction for diabetes and CVD and motivate behavioural changes. In addition, her approach could validate ethnic-specific measurement tools that will allow for comparisons across diverse ethnic populations.
Anand is also studying genetic molecular discoveries and data on dietary factors, such as energy intake and macronutrient composition. This information will offer excellent windows into how environmental and genetic measures affect the development of cardio-metabolic factors in high-risk groups.
Anand’s examination of high risk populations will provide greater insight into the causes and risk factors of CVD. Her research could eventually lead to the development of prevention strategies to stem the leading cause of premature deaths in ethnic populations.