Completed Cardiovascular Health & Diabetes Research Projects
Researchers within the Cardiovascular Health and Diabetes Research Track in NYU Langone’s Division of Health and Behavior have completed several projects with goal of improving the health of Asian communities.
Diabetes Research, Education, and Action for Minorities Project
The Diabetes Research, Education, and Action for Minorities (DREAM) Project began in the NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health. A community health needs and resource assessment of the Bangladeshi community in New York City found high rates of diabetes in this population. Further research explored factors that influence physical activity and weight management and barriers to healthcare in this community.
These studies and a feasibility assessment led to the creation of a six-month intervention, consisting of monthly group and one-on-one educational sessions on diabetes and its complications, nutrition, physical activity, and stress management and family support. All educational materials and sessions were in Bengali. Community health workers led the sessions and were available to assist participants with healthcare visits or other social service needs.
A two-arm, randomized, controlled trial tested the effectiveness of the DREAM Project intervention to improve diabetes control. Researchers found that the intervention group experienced decreases in A1C, mean cholesterol, weight and BMI, and blood pressure. They also gained knowledge of type 2 diabetes and confidence in self-management of their condition.
Another component of the DREAM Project was the Obesity and Stress in South Asians (OASIS) Project, which explored the clinical, behavioral, social, and cultural mechanisms associated with stress and obesity in South Asians living in New York City and the potential efficacy of faith-based strategies for disease prevention in these communities.
The DREAM Project was funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), NIH National Center for the Advancement of Translational Science (NCATS), NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) grant, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
DREAM Project Selected Publications
Islam NS … Trinh-Shevrin C. A culturally tailored community health worker intervention leads to improvement in patient-centered outcomes for immigrant patients with type 2 diabetes. Clin Diabetes. 2018. DOI.
Islam NS … Trinh-Shevrin C. Evaluation of a community health worker pilot intervention to improve diabetes management in Bangladeshi immigrants with type 2 diabetes in New York City. Diabetes Educ. 2013. DOI.
Riley L … Islam N. Using qualitative methods to understand physical activity and weight management among Bangladeshis in New York City. Prev Chron Dis. 2013. DOI.
Islam NS … Trinh-Shevrin C. Understanding barriers to and facilitators of diabetes control and prevention in the New York City Bangladeshi community: A mixed-methods approach. Am J Public Health. 2012. DOI.
Implementing Million Hearts for Providers and Community Transformation, or Project IMPACT, identified best practices for adaptation and meaningful translation of evidence-based strategies to improve hypertension management and cardiovascular health in South Asians in primary care clinics in New York City. It was a core research project of the NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center. Learn more about Project IMPACT.
Reaching Immigrants Through Community Empowerment Project
The Reaching Immigrants Through Community Empowerment (RICE) Project promoted diabetes prevention among Korean American and South Asian American immigrants in New York City using a community health worker model approach. It was a core research project of the NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center conducted in partnership with local health providers and community and faith-based organizations. The RICE Project is recognized by the CDC as evidence-based model for diabetes prevention in the community. Learn more about the RICE Project.
The Project on Asian American Partnership in Research and Empowerment (Project AsPIRE) was designed to develop, test, and evaluate a community health worker program for reducing cardiovascular disease and hypertension disparities among Filipino Americans living in New York and New Jersey. This research was conducted in partnership with the NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health and the Kalusugan Coalition.
Researchers conducted a randomized controlled study of Filipino Americans to evaluate an intervention program consisting of culturally tailored interactive workshops on cardiovascular disease and hypertension led by community health workers. The intervention group also met with community health workers to address specific health issues, barriers to care, and to connect with culturally competent health providers. Control participants received written materials on cardiovascular disease prevention and hypertension control.
Compared with the control group, program participants demonstrated significant improvement in mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure. They were more likely to have controlled blood pressure, as well as significantly improved medication adherence and appointment attendance.
Project AsPIRE was awarded a grant for a train-the-trainer program using webinars, online toolkits and social media for 35 additional community health workers in cities across the United States, and was recognized by the Agency for Health Quality and Research (AHRQ) Health Care Innovations Exchange. Project outcomes served to support policy on the role of community health workers as critical members of healthcare teams within the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act.
Project AsPIRE Selected Publications
Ursua RA … Islam NS. A community health worker intervention to improve blood pressure among Filipino Americans with hypertension: A randomized controlled trial. Prev Med Rep. 2018. DOI.
Afable A … Trinh-Shevrin C. Duration of US residence is associated with overweight risk in Filipino immigrants living in NY metro area. Fam Community Health. 2016. DOI.
Trinh-Shevrin C. Filipino immigrants are more likely to be obese the longer they live in the United States. National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities. 2016.
Ursua RA … Trinh-Shevrin C. A community health worker intervention to improve management of hypertension among Filipino Americans in New York and New Jersey: A pilot study. Ethn Dis. 2014. 24(1):67–76.
Ursua R … Trinh-Shevrin C. Awareness, treatment and control of hypertension among Filipino immigrants. J Gen Intern Med. 2014. DOI.
Trinh-Shevrin C. Community health workers offer culturally tailored interactive workshops and counseling to Filipino Americans, leading to improvements in medication adherence and cardiovascular risk factors. AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange. November 16, 2013.
Ursua RA … Trinh-Shevrin C. Predictors of hypertension among Filipino immigrants in the Northeast US. J Community Health. 2013. DOI.
Aguilar DE … Gavin NP. Lessons learned and challenges in building a Filipino health coalition. Health Promot Pract. 2010. DOI.
The goal of the CDC-funded Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health for Asian Americans (REACH FAR) program was to prevent cardiovascular disease by improving high blood pressure management in Asian Americans living in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area. The program aimed to increase access to healthy foods and provide culturally tailored health coaching efforts.
REACH FAR was conducted through the NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health and in partnership with four community-based organizations, including Korean Community Services of New York, the Kalusugan Coalition, UNITED SIKHS, and the DREAM Project. Together, they established a multisector coalition of community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, local businesses, healthcare professionals, healthcare institutions, and local and state governmental agencies. Aims were to increase access to healthy foods and drinks in faith-based organizations and restaurants and grocery stores; blood pressure screenings and coaching efforts in faith-based and community settings; and translated, culturally tailored health information disseminated through pharmacists and healthcare providers.
REACH FAR Selected Publications
Gore R … Islam N. Influence of organizational and social contexts on the implementation of culturally adapted hypertension control programs in Asian American-serving grocery stores, restaurants, and faith-based community sites: A qualitative study. Transl Behav Med. 2019. DOI.
Islam N and Patel S. Best practices for partnering with ethnic minority-serving religious organizations on health promotion and prevention. AMA J Ethics. 2018. DOI.
Kum SS … Kwon SC. Visualizing reach of racial and ethnic approaches to community health for Asian Americans: the REACH FAR project in New York and New Jersey. Prev Chronic Dis. 2018. DOI.
Yi SS … Islam NS. A faith-based intervention to reduce blood pressure in underserved metropolitan New York immigrant communities. Prev Chronic Dis. 2018. DOI.
Kwon SC … Islam NS. Implementing health promotion activities using community-engaged approaches in Asian American faith-based organizations in New York City and New Jersey. Transl Beh Med. 2017. DOI.
REACH FAR Toolkits
The Healthy Eating in Places of Worship and Healthy Eating in Retail Settings REACH FAR toolkits provide guidance and resources for individuals, community-based organizations, places of worship, academic research centers, and any other types of organizations interested in ways to prevent high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, especially for those working with Asian Americans in community settings. Health promotion materials are available in English, Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi, Korean, Tagalog, and Urdu.