Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Economics

First Advisor

Yavuz Yasar

Second Advisor

Celia Taylor

Third Advisor

Markus Schneider

Fourth Advisor

Juan Carlos Lopez


Coronary heart disease, Diabetes, Economics, Social determinants of health, South Asian, South Asian immigrants


An astounding 20% of South Asian Americans have diabetes (Matthews and Zachariah 2008). Conventional risk factors for coronary heart disease includes: age older than 65, sedentary lifestyle, cigarette smoking, hypertension, elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL), cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes, all factors beyond health care (italicized for emphasis) (Mathews and Zachariah 2008). But conventional risk factors alone are not sufficient to predict the alarmingly high rates of coronary heart disease (“CHD”) for South Asian Americans. In fact, the only conventional risk factor more prevalent in this community than others is diabetes. So, the question remains, what factors are contributing to the high rates of diabetes and coronary heart disease amongst the South Asian American community?

After conducting a review of the literature surrounding the topics of the social determinants of health (e.g., lifestyle habits, socio-economic status, etc.), and the health outcomes of South Asian Americans/South Asian American immigrants, a survey study is designed to further probe into the question of what is causing high rates of diabetes and CHD in this community. Findings indicate that gender, class, diet, exercise, financial and language barriers to access to health care, and mental health/isolation are key contributors to this issue. South Asian immigrants are more prone to their effects as they experience worse health outcomes at a higher rate than their domestic-born counterparts. Possible means to addressing these concerns includes implementing: language access programs, free health lines, neighborhood-based education programs, and discounts/health-based incentives.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Mishal Ayaz


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

93 pgs


Economics, Public health