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Washington Post: System Racism Not to Blame for South Asian Heart Troubles
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As you’ve no doubt noticed, press articles about African-American health problems in recent years take it as a given that any and all disparities in health must be due to System Racism, not to genes or anything blacks could do for themselves to improve. But here’s a useful article from the Washington Post by a South Asian about the high rate of coronary troubles among South Asians that attributes them to “a mix of genetic, cultural and lifestyle influences” rather than to Evil White People.

Which perspective is more useful for improving health?

South Asian Americans face disproportionately higher risks of heart disease, other cardiovascular ailments

By Vignesh Ramachandran
November 15, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. PST

… South Asian Americans — people with roots in Nepal, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives — have a disproportionately higher risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular ailments. Worldwide, South Asians account for 60 percent of all heart disease cases, even though — at 2 billion people — they make up only a quarter of the planet’s population.

In the United States, more attention is being focused on these risks for Americans of South Asian descent, a growing population of about 5.4 million. Health-care professionals attribute the problem to a mix of genetic, cultural and lifestyle influences — but researchers are advocating for more resources to fully understand it. …

A 2018 study for the American Heart Association found South Asian Americans are more likely to die of coronary heart disease than other Asian Americans and non-Hispanic White Americans. The study pointed to their high incidences of diabetes and prediabetes as risk factors, as well as high waist-to-hip ratios. People of South Asian descent have a higher tendency to gain visceral fat in the abdomen, which is associated with insulin resistance. They also were found to be less physically active than other ethnic groups in the United States.

… They stress that high blood pressure and diabetes are common in the community, even for people at normal weights. That’s why, said Alka Kanaya, MASALA’s principal investigator and a professor of medicine at UCSF, South Asians cannot rely on traditional body mass index metrics, because BMI numbers considered normal could provide false reassurance to those who might still be at risk.

Kanaya recommends cardiac CT scans, which she said help identify high-risk patients, those who need to make more aggressive lifestyle changes and those who may need preventive medication.

Another risk factor, this one cultural, is diet. Some South Asian Americans are vegetarians, although it’s often a grain-heavy diet reliant on rice and flatbread. The AHA study found risks in such diets, which are high in refined carbohydrates and saturated fat. “We have to understand the cultural nuances [with] an Indian vegetarian diet,” said Ronesh Sinha, author of “The South Asian Health Solution” and an internal medicine physician.

“That means something totally different than . . . a Westerner who’s going to be consuming a lot of plant-based protein and tofu, eating lots of salads and things that typical South Asians don’t,” he said.

But getting South Asians to change their eating habits can be challenging, because their culture expresses hospitality and love through food, said Arnab Mukherjea, an associate professor of health sciences at California State University at East Bay. “One of the things South Asians tend to take a lot of pride in is transmitting cultural values and norms knowledge to the next generation,” Mukherjea said. …

Kevin Shah, a University of Utah cardiologist who co-wrote the AHA study, said people with diabetes, hypertension and obesity are also at higher risk of covid-19 complications, so they should now especially work to improve their cardiovascular health and fitness.

Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

It’s almost as if Knowledge Is Good…

 
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  1. unit472 says:

    A big juicy steak once a week might be just what the cardiologist ordered.

    • Agree: HyperDupont
    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  2. Rice and flatbread are plant based?

  3. Two mentions in that article of the word “genetics” and none about racism, which is pretty good. I looked up other articles by the writer, many on South Asians in America, and crying racism doesn’t seem to be part of his repertoire, which is a refreshing change from what one has come to expect.

  4. … as well as high waist-to-hip ratios.

    That, and the occasional dot, of course, explains the shortage of hotties. That’s what I’m concerned about. This heart disease thing sounds like a personal problem.

    • LOL: Gabe Ruth
    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  5. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:

    I thought the nyt article was going to be about how hard it is for south Asians to get girlfriend in the west. I would have liked to see the nyt’s take on widespread south Asian inceldom.

    In respect to south Asian heart problems I think they probably have the same problem as east Asians do in that body fat levels considered normal or overweight for Caucasians actually medically the same as being obese for South Asians i. e. their normal range of body fat is lower than it is for Caucasians.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Tony
  6. anon[830] • Disclaimer says:

    What a strange claim you’re making Mr. Sailer—-it’s almost as if disproves your point.

  7. JimB says:

    But getting South Asians to change their eating habits can be challenging, because their culture expresses hospitality and love through food,

    This could be a wokewash of the facts. I noticed first and second generation fit male Indian students in my college going to India during Christmas break and returning in January with brides. By the end of Spring semester, the brides had overfed their youthful husbands until they looked like a fat middle age man. My somewhat nasty hypothesis is that in Indian marriages, young wives cause their husbands to gain large amounts of weight to lower their libido, especially when the husband is a piggy man who is knocking on every door each night to get in, if you know what I mean.

    • Agree: Malla
  8. dvorak says:

    Kanaya recommends cardiac CT scans, which she said help identify high-risk patients

  9. anon[111] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    I thought the nyt article was going to be about how hard it is for south Asians to get girlfriend in the west. I would have liked to see the nyt’s take on widespread south Asian inceldom.

    Perhaps the All American Buoy Thomm could contribute to that?

  10. Anon[245] • Disclaimer says:

    A surprising number of group health risks have a significant genetic component, and are extremely resistant to change. I wonder where they got the data about the cardiac risks of “pastatarian” diets (vegetarians who eat refined grains, mostly) from? It might be circular reasoning, since Indians are the only really large group with such a diet, so the inference of causation might not be correct.

  11. @Ari silver

    Ari silver writes, “Rice and flatbread are plant based?”

    Ari, I don’t understand this remark. Why would you doubt that rice (a plant) and flatbread (made from wheat, a plant) are plant-based? Or are you making point that I’m missing?

    • Replies: @Boomthorkell
    , @J.Ross
    , @anon
  12. IIRC the least favorable variant of the APOE gene (e4) is more common among Northern Europeans and Black Africans and less common among Southern Europeans and East Asians. Just one of many alleles that affect health and doesn’t follow the rules of anyone’s narrative.

    On a related note, the Lipid Hypothesis is shaping up to be the biggest medical scandal of the 20th century and will eventually be seen as akin to bleeding the sick with leeches.

    • Replies: @anon
  13. AndrewR says:

    Lol at the clear distinction the author makes between “Westerners” and “South Asian Americans.”

    Hey, bud, you said it, not me….

    • Replies: @epebble
  14. Rice and wheat are grains. Hard to digest for humans. Get metabolized pretty quickly. Spike your blood sugar levels. Then you crash. Ari Silver is most likely speaking of green vegetables.

    Read The Wheat Belly Diet. Written by a cardiologist.

    Very, very informative.

    I was on this diet a few years ago. Lost tens of pounds in a few months.

    Did not count calories while on the diet.

  15. Anon7 says:

    No system racism? What would you call the British Raj?

    Now, that’s systemic racism.

  16. jon says:

    because their culture expresses hospitality and love through food

    As foreign as that may sound to us “ice” people of the West, it’s true. I grew up around an Indian family, and they were always having BBQs, pot-lucks, dinner parties, etc. Why, every November, they would even gather together with all of their other relatives in the US and have a huge meal — sort of as a way to give thanks, or something. As a YT, I could never really grok the whole thing.
    Can you imagine writing something so stupid? But they do it every time, write some article about some minority group and mention some “unique” quality, always worded as a positive even if, as here, it’s the source of the problem. And that unique quality turns out to be the whitest sounding thing in the world.

    • Agree: vhrm
    • Replies: @vhrm
  17. epebble says:
    @AndrewR

    “That means something totally different than . . . a Westerner who’s going to be consuming a lot of plant-based protein and tofu, eating lots of salads and things that typical South Asians don’t,” he said.

    It is a placeholder for a different type of vegetarian.

  18. @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    He’s being a smart aleck, and not a very smart one.

  19. @Ari silver

    They are literally plants, but come on. They are carb heavy plants put through heavy processing to make carb-heavy food. They aren’t comparable to carrots or freaking cucumbers. I know you know this. Why even be snarky about it?

  20. anon[263] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous Jew

    On a related note, the Lipid Hypothesis is shaping up to be the biggest medical scandal of the 20th century and will eventually be seen as akin to bleeding the sick with leeches.

    +10,000

    Except…leeches can be useful in limited situations.

  21. Pajeets play the grievance card but not like Ibram Kendi-tier tactless black grifters.

    They shouldn’t be underestimated. In a 2015 speech before the Oxford Union Indian politician Shashi Tharoor called for Brits to pay reparations over colonialism.

  22. Are curry smoothies a thing? They could market them as Ghee Whiz.

    • LOL: MEH 0910
  23. Bert says:

    Rushton’s application of r-K life history theory to racial differences explains much of racial differences in senescence and average life span. Genetic tradeoffs (probably due to pleiotropic effects) ensure that a fast life is not a long one.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R/K_selection_theory#:~:text=In%20ecology%2C%20r%2FK%20selection,quantity%20and%20quality%20of%20offspring.&text=An%20unstable%20environment%20would%20encourage,surviving%20to%20adulthood%20is%20slim.

    Note that the replacements of r-K theory by more specific analyses, e.g., age-specific mortality models, does not invalidate it for explaining the current question of racial differences in average life span. r-K theory is a broader brush approach.

  24. @Achmed E. Newman

    As usual, you provide the most important take, Achmed.

  25. Does this rule out Nikki Haley for 2024?

  26. MEH 0910 says:

    People of South Asian descent have a higher tendency to gain visceral fat in the abdomen, which is associated with insulin resistance.

    • Replies: @PaceLaw
  27. Well when you run gas stations and convenience stores in the most vibrant neighborhoods I suspect hypertension goes with the territory.

  28. J.Ross says:
    @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    That they’re based out of the kingdom plantae (cf a “journalist” being “based out of London”).

  29. @Reg Cæsar

    Clearly they are starving over there. Or something… Look for the left to demand we start importing their poor, low IQ folks and quit stealing their best and brightest minds.

  30. anon[956] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    I believe the distinction being made is akin to grain-fed vs grass-fed beef… but for humans. They don’t consider artificially selected grains to be “natural”.

  31. PaceLaw says:
    @MEH 0910

    Ah yes, a reminder of our good friend Apu. He’s been killed off by the creators of The Simpsons, correct? I’m sure the reason given for his demise has to be health related, probably something to do with heart disease.

  32. Stan says:

    Nikki Haley is a pawn of anti-American neocons. She does not represent Asian Indian Americans.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @PiltdownMan
  33. As says:

    Indians typically hate doing normal physical work around the house or physical chores of any kind. I think a lifetime of not lifting a finger has deleterious consequences for the health.

    I think the traditional Indian diet is healthy and includes lots of vegetables but this isn’t what people seem to eat. It’s the usual mass produced processed food. Indians also love greasy fried foods and desserts.

    I think in the past cooking and hospitality were important but no longer. Most Indian women cannot cook for example and look down on anyone who can which must have health implications.

  34. @unit472

    Don’t forget the scotch. That’s MY retirement plan.

  35. prosa123 says:

    In respect to south Asian heart problems I think they probably have the same problem as east Asians do in that body fat levels considered normal or overweight for Caucasians actually medically the same as being obese for South Asians i. e. their normal range of body fat is lower than it is for Caucasians.

    Anecdotal to be sure, but visibly overweight South Asians seem a lot more common than visibly overweight East Asians. Middle aged East Asian women can sometimes be a bit chunky but true obesity is rare.

  36. vhrm says:
    @jon

    Exactly. Is there ANY culture that doesn’t express “hospitality and love” through food?!

    I know they’re trying to position the good, caring and wholesome non-American vs the “privileged” whites, and they’re jerks for doing that, but on this topic it is particularly dumb, in addition to being jerky.
    The behavior isn’t even restricted to humans; all sorts of animals do it.
    (there are even models how it may have developed https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_models_of_food_sharing ).

    The long and the short of it is that genes and cultural practices that were good in times of relative food scarcity (most of our biological and cultural evolution) are maladaptive in times of inexpensive constant food availability.

    These things have become poignant to me recently as I’ve stumbled into some fasting…
    a) There’s good palatable food around all the time. Friends and family give it to you. Businesses market it to you… If you’re anywhere near people, at least in the West, and not destitute, you’re near easily available food practically all the time.

    b) You can go for a LONG time with relatively little food. In the steady state, a moderate weight person with office worker type lifestyle would only lose 3 to 4 lbs a week w/o eating anything. So except for the particularly low fat among us, people could go for months without eating (although if doing extended fasts for fun or weight loss eating some protein every day or two is a good idea (psmf) in spite of Dr. Dung’s claims to the contrary. Also magnesium and salt)

  37. Muggles says:

    In the steady state, a moderate weight person with office worker type lifestyle would only lose 3 to 4 lbs a week w/o eating anything. So except for the particularly low fat among us, people could go for months without eating

    I was long ago on a totally liquid diet (medically supervised) and other than the first few weeks, didn’t lose that much, that fast. 800 calories per day mind you, not a total fast.

    Going “months without eating” absent liquid protein and some carbs, vitamins, etc. would kill you or most people not obese. Even they would die in about six weeks. Look at concentration camp victims. They had about 1000/cals per day but had to work, lived in cold places w/o heat. Many starved. In Nazi camps and the Soviet gulags.

    Metabolism varies but fasting unless for very short periods can mess you up. Muscle mass starts being consumed once easy fat is gone. Chemical imbalances, etc. Plus actual hunger pangs are very painful.

    The easiest ways for governments to control populations is to starve them. Works very well.

    As for S. Asians, I suspect like American Indians (feather, not dot) they had generations of very little fat in their diets. Carbs yes but little animal fat. So on modern diets with lots of added fat these get stored, not metabolized very quickly. Vegans often have an unhealthy chubby aspect due to carb heavy, protein deficient intake. No animal fat. I don’t know long term heart consequences for vegans, but I suspect it’s bad.

    I have a “cowboy” theory: some ethnic/racial IQ differentials are genetic, based upon the absence or presence of animal fats in past generation’s diets. Societies that dined on animal fats (cheeses, milk, fats) from beef, pork, fish, etc. ended up over millennia smarter on average than those which didn’t (Africans, most Amerinds, aborigines, desert dwellers, etc).

    Why would this in the diet affect IQ? The brain is the largest organ in your body that is made of fat. Over 60% of your brain is fat cells of various kinds. More fat = more IQ. You can find plant based fats (olives, for instance) but that is scarce and has to be refined/squeezed.

    Simplistic idea, yes. Evidence? Look at the milk/cheese heavy diets of N. Europeans, Mediterranean olive diets, and pork heavy diets of northern Asians. And fish for Japanese and certain others (oily fish in particular).

    I’m not a scientist. But I write like one on Unz here. Those greasy hamburgers might make your descendants smarter!

    • Replies: @BS
  38. Tony says:
    @Anonymous

    I dont think indians have it as bad as east asians when it comes to women. Also east asians are more athletic than indians, going by olympic medals and my own personal observations.

  39. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says:
    @Stan

    Nikki whitened up to get ahead, or to fit in.

    Who was the last non-phony US president? George HW Bush?

    Clinton did the Bubba thing, W played up his “Texan heritage”. Obama consciously chose to play down his white heritage for political mileage, and Trump…no comment.

    Biden may be a doddery centrist fool, but he is probably a step in the right direction in that he isn’t a phony or a showman. Nikki would be a step backward.

    • LOL: Bumpkin
    • Replies: @anon
  40. Anonymous[935] • Disclaimer says:

    South Asians can improve their cardiovascular fitness, but their small coronary arteries are still prone to blocking (or that’s what a doctor friend told me)

    Slightly OT: why don’t South Asians see themselves as a race? It would go a long way to easing the religious, caste, linguistic and nationalistic hatreds that plague them if they accepted their shared biological heritage. Even the fairest of Pakis implicitly accepts the possibility of legitimately popping out a Dravidian looking child, and vice-versa, whereas a European who produced a black child would almost certainly be a cuckold.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  41. Slightly OT: why don’t South Asians see themselves as a race?

    I speculate that it is because they (or at least the Hindus) see themselves in terms of sub-caste, which is the more genetically precise, endogamous grouping, given that arranged marriages have been the norm for centuries if not millennia, and marriage out of the group happens very rarely. Another reason might be that they’ve rarely had to deal with other races on their subcontinent. It’s not that there have been vast migrations of East Asians or Africans into that land. It’s all been various shades of Caucasoid types.

  42. @Stan

    Nikki Haley is a pawn of anti-American neocons. She does not represent Asian Indian Americans.

    She represents Asian Indian American citizens in that she does what is in her own best interest and in the interest of her career.

    That is representative of Asian Indians here, whether that’s a person like her or Bobby Jindal, a small town Subcontinental doctor who joins the local Republican party, or a person like the half-Indian Kamala Harris, brought up entirely by her Indian mother and relatives, who calculates that it is in her best interest to become black by joining an HBCU. It appears to me that careerism is the principal representative trait of the group, from my admittedly small data set drawing upon casual observation over the years.

  43. anon[354] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Biden may be a doddery centrist fool, but he is probably a step in the right direction in that he isn’t a phony or a showman.

    Lol, sure, dude, whatever. How’s the weather back there in the 1980’s? Got your MBNA card yet?

    • Agree: Bumpkin
  44. Anon[315] • Disclaimer says:

    why don’t South Asians see themselves as a race? It would go a long way to easing the religious, caste, linguistic and nationalistic hatreds that plague them if they accepted their shared biological heritage

    That’s what got Gandhi into trouble. He tried to replicate his experiences in South Africa, where the small number of Indians had developed (or were forced) into a group identity that somewhat transcended religion and caste. When he tried that on the subcontinent, he ended up with Pakistan, and got killed by a Hindu fanatic for his efforts.

    I don’t think Gandhi used specifically racial or biological arguments when calling for Indian unity and independence, but it’s hard to see those gaining traction in today’s Woke World.

  45. @Anonymous

    Slightly OT: why don’t South Asians see themselves as a race?

    Because they aren’t a race, but something like 40,000 microraces.

    If you at those genetic principal component analysis plots of world populations this pops out. For some nations or at least regions in large nations, the people are a composite of a couple or a few components, but most everyone in the nation has pretty much the same components in pretty much the same proportions. I.e. there really is an “English race”.

    Not so the Indians, even in a single state people–i.e. from separate “communities”–are a smattering of five or six different components in wildly varying proportions.

  46. @AnotherDad

    South Asians are actually kind of like what SJWs in comment sections are always contending blacks are: so incredibly diverse that to call them a race is absurd.

    On the other hand, you can usually guess where a South Asian is a South Asian from facial features, even if they vary widely in skin color.

  47. @AnotherDad

    South Asians are actually kind of like what SJWs in comment sections are always contending blacks are: so incredibly diverse that to call them a race is absurd.

    On the other hand, you can usually guess where a South Asian is a South Asian from facial features, even if they vary widely in skin color.

  48. BS says:
    @Muggles

    Isn’t Indian food basically just grease and spices?

  49. MEH 0910 says:

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