In 2016, Fraser Health published the South Asian Health Report. The report includes survey responses from over 15,000 community members. It was the first of its kind in Canada.
The report provides valuable information on the health of South Asians in the Fraser Health region.
Key findings include:
Over 240,000 (15%) people in Fraser Health identify as South Asian;
Median age is 39;
One in five do not speak English;
50% have high school education or less;
Almost 22% have lived in Canada 10 years or less; and
10% do not have a family doctor.
Nearly 60% have body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 and are considered obese; (based on revised cut off BMI for South Asians)
South Asians born in Canada are more likely to choose unhealthy fast food and sugary drinks;
Many people -- 3 out of 5 -- do not get enough exercise; and
Most people -- 7 out of 8 -- do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.
Chronic disease levels are higher among South Asians compared to Fraser Health overall;
16% have diabetes (three times higher);
7% have heart disease (two times higher);
12% have multiple chronic diseases; and
Almost half (2+ out of 5) have two or more risk factors that can lead to chronic disease.
Linguistic and cultural barriers pose challenges for managing chronic conditions;
Factors that drive health inequities and chronic diseases in the South Asian community are complex;
Partnerships and collective action are essential to achieve better health; and
Factors for success include cultural relevance, early intervention, and involving the whole family.
There are also many strengths in the South Asian community, including family groups living together, a strong sense of community belonging, and a younger population that may be more accessible through social media. These strengths can be used to target improvements.
Fraser Health and SAHI are committed to providing equitable, respectful, and culturally sensitive care to clients -- whenever possible in their own language.
Together we can achieve our vision of providing better care and best in health care.