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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Translating a heart disease lifestyle intervention into the community: the South Asian Heart Lifestyle Intervention (SAHELI) study; a randomized control trial

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Namratha R. Kandula, Swapna Dave, Peter John De Chavez, Himali Bharucha, Yasin Patel, Paola Seguil, Santosh Kumar, David W. Baker, Bonnie Spring, Juned Siddique
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12889-015-2401-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Authors’ contribution

NK conceived of the study, designed the study, helped to analyze data, and wrote the manuscript. NK is responsible for the content of this article. SD and YP contributed to study design, analysis and contributed to creation of parts of the manuscript. PC and JS contributed to study design, analysis and contributed to creation of parts of the manuscript. Other contributors such as HB, PS, DB, SK, and BS contributed to study design, analysis, and provided feedback on the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



South Asians (Asian Indians and Pakistanis) are the second fastest growing ethnic group in the United States (U.S.) and have an increased risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). This pilot study evaluated a culturally-salient, community-based healthy lifestyle intervention to reduce ASCVD risk among South Asians.


Through an academic-community partnership, medically underserved South Asian immigrants at risk for ASCVD were randomized into the South Asian Heart Lifestyle Intervention (SAHELI) study. The intervention group attended 6 interactive group classes focused on increasing physical activity, healthful diet, weight, and stress management. They also received follow-up telephone support calls. The control group received translated print education materials about ASCVD and healthy behaviors. Primary outcomes were feasibility and initial efficacy, measured as change in moderate/vigorous physical activity and dietary saturated fat intake at 3- and 6-months. Secondary clinical and psychosocial outcomes were also measured.


Participants’ (n = 63) average age was 50 (SD = 8) years, 63 % were female, 27 % had less than or equal to a high school education, one-third were limited English proficient, and mean BMI was 30 kg/m2 (SD ± 5). There were no significant differences in change in physical activity or saturated fat intake between the intervention and control group. Compared to the control group, the intervention group showed significant weight loss (−1.5 kg, p-value = 0.04) and had a greater sex-adjusted decrease in hemoglobin A1C (−0.43 %, p-value <0.01) at 6 months. Study retention was 100 %.


This pilot study suggests that a culturally-salient, community-based lifestyle intervention was feasible for engaging medically underserved South Asian immigrants and more effective at addressing ASCVD risk factors than print health education materials.

Trial registration

NCT01647438, Date of Trial Registration: July 19, 2012
Additional file 1: SAHELI Study Protocol. The additional document details the protocol related to the South Asian Heart Lifestyle Intervention (SAHELI) Study. (PDF 8865 kb)
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