BACKGROUND: South Asian adults have worse cardiovascular health (CVH) and more coronary artery calcium compared with other race/ethnicities. The impact of the social environment has not been examined as a potential driver of CVH or coronary artery calcium in this population. We evaluated associations of social network characteristics with CVH and coronary artery calcium in South Asian American adults to inform strategies for CVH promotion in this at-risk population. METHODS AND RESULTS: Using data from the MASALA (Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America) cohort study, multinomial and multivariable logistic regression were used to evaluate associations of participant social network size and density, proportion of network who are kin or South Asian ethnicity and reported health of participant’s identified social network members (“alters”), with participant CVH and presence of coronary artery calcium. The 699 MASALA participants included were mean age 59.2 (SD, 9.2) years and 42.9% women. After adjustment, a 1-person larger social network size was associated with 13% higher odds of ideal CVH (odds ratio [OR], 1.13; 95% CI, 1.01–1.27). Reporting an alter with high blood pressure was associated with lower odds of ideal CVH (OR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.29– 0.88), and reporting an alter with high choles-terol was associated with lower odds of ideal CVH (OR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.30– 0.94). CONCLUSIONS: Social network characteristics are associated with CVH in South Asian American adults. Engaging social networks may help promote CVH in this population.
- Cardiovascular health
- Social determinants of health
- Social networks
- South Asian
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine