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Health of South Asians in the United States

Health of South Asians in the United States: An Evidence-Based Guide for Policy and Program Development
Memoona Hasnain, Punam Parikh, Nitasha Chaudhary Nagaraj
1st Edition. CRC Press. Published March 16, 2017

The South Asian Public Health Association (SAPHA) is proud to share information about a book on the health of South Asians, “The Health of South Asians in the United States: An Evidence-based Guide for Policy and Program Development” published by Routledge, a division of Taylor & Francis

Dr. Memoona Hasnain, Professor and Interim Head in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is the lead editor, with co-editors, Punam Parikh of UCLA School of Medicine and Nitasha Chaudhary Nagaraj of The George Washington University.

Hasnain says that while South Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing minority populations in the U.S., there is a disturbing lack of research dedicated to health care issues specific to this group. "For many years, South Asian Americans were considered a 'model minority’; this erroneous perception that people from South Asian countries always achieve social and economic success has created a gap in our understanding of the significant health disparities experienced by this group."

Hasnain is President of the Board of SAPHA. She credits the ongoing work of this group to expand the body of research available about South Asian American health care issues as the inspiration for the new book.

The Health of South Asians in the United States: An Evidence-based Guide for Policy and Program Development defines South Asian Americans as people living in the U.S. with ancestral roots in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

"South Asian Americans bring with them unique languages, cultures, religions and perspectives that directly impact their health-related practices," Hasnain said. "Unless we take the time to understand patients as whole people, it will always be a challenge to provide patient-centered and culturally-competent care, specifically in this increasingly understudied and vulnerable population."

Of the major health disparities discussed in the book, Hasnain and her colleagues call attention to the significantly high rates of chronic conditions and co-morbidities, intimate partner violence and tobacco use in the South Asian American community.

The book outlines these and other health disparities and discusses research-based recommendations to help improve and support the health and well-being of South Asian Americans.

The book is available on the CRC website and on Amazon.

Book review: Khan O. Health of South Asians in the United States: An Evidence-Based Guide for Policy and Program Development. Fam Med. 2018;50(4):315-316.