SOURCE: University of Calgary

University of Calgary

February 24, 2015 09:00 ET

Research Chair to study South Asian heart health

University of Calgary Faculty of Nursing and DIL Walk Foundation announce partnership

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - February 24, 2015) - More than 1.4 million Canadians have heart disease. Inexplicably, South Asians are three to five times more likely to experience a heart attack compared to other communities.

The Guru Nanak Dev Ji DIL (Heart) Research Chair has been established to develop effective, ethno-culturally sensitive programs aimed at prevention and management of heart disease and to benefit the study of cardiovascular health amongst the South Asian population.

As chairholder, cardiovascular nurse scientist Kathryn King-Shier will lead research into heart health for this community. King-Shier is a professor in the Faculty of Nursing and a member of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta and the O'Brien Institute for Public Health. She has been working with ethnic communities in Calgary and across the country for more than 12 years.

"Ultimately, the work of this chair should reduce the burden of illness on families, promote quality of life and reduce mortality. I am delighted and proud to have the opportunity to apply my research in a very tangible way," says King-Shier.

The research chair is named for the first Sikh guru Nanak Dev Ji who believed all humanity should be treated equally. The chair is a one million dollar commitment with both the DIL Walk Foundation and the University of Calgary, Faculty of Nursing, contributing equally.

"The DIL Walk Foundation's commitment to cardiovascular health for their community, coupled with Dr. King-Shier's extensive program of research in this area, will go a long way in raising awareness of the heart risks for South Asians," says Dianne Tapp, dean, Faculty of Nursing. "We are excited to partner with the DIL Walk Foundation on this important initiative."

DIL Walk co-founder and local cardiologist, Dr. Anmol Kapoor, says the rate at which heart attacks are occurring among the South Asian population is not the only reason for the research chair. "Heart attacks are happening more frequently among younger South Asians. We want to bring attention to this also."

The DIL Walk Foundation is a Calgary-based not for profit organization dedicated to increasing the awareness of heart disease in South Asians by encouraging them to take a proactive approach to heart health.

Announcement: Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, 1 p.m. to 1:20 p.m., Cardel Place, Open Physio Space, 11950 Country Village Link NE
Media availability: Dr. King-Shier, Dr. Anmol Kapoor and Ms. Raman Kapoor, 1:20 p.m. to 2 p.m.

About the University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is a leading Canadian university located in the nation's most enterprising city. The university has a clear strategic direction to become one of Canada's top five research universities by 2016, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.' 

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Contact Information

  • Media Contact
    Karen Cook
    Senior Manager, Communications
    Faculty of Nursing | University of Calgary
    403.220.4361
    kcook@ucalgary.ca