Palo Alto Medical Foundation Newsroom

Cardiovascular Disease the Leading Cause of Death for California’s South Asians

Doctors at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) today released a new study that quantifies that cardiovascular heart disease (a category of illnesses of the heart or blood vessels) is the leading cause of death for South Asians in California. More than 1.6 million South Asians live in the United States, more than one quarter of them in California.


Latha Palaniappan, M.D., M.S., is the lead PAMFRI researcher on this study. She collaborated with investigators at the University of California, School of Public Health to study California mortality records from 1990 to 2000. All of the study details are available in today’s complete press release, with the stunning conclusion: four out of every 10 South Asians in California dies of cardiovascular disease.

Once completed, this research did not just get published and filed away. Dr. Palaniappan and a group of her fellow doctors acted on their findings to help patients. They collaborated on a clinic and website directed at South Asians that stresses the importance of early screening, health education and positive lifestyles choices. It’s called PRANA (PRevention & AwareNess for South Asians).  The website and communications provide health education and resources to the South Asian community, including health education classes and community lectures. The PRANA group also produces a free monthly e-newsletter, South Asian Wellness. The educational materials are in English and Hindi.


  1. This is very interesting research

  2. Thank you for the continued effort in enlightening the South Asians on heart risks, would love to see more information and tips on ways to reduce cholestrol and other related risk factors.