The SAHARA Study, conducted by Population Health Research Institute

What is the SAHARA Study About? 

The South Asian HeArt Risk Assessment (SAHARA) project aims to screen 1,000 people of South Asian origin from the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton regions in order to determine their risk for heart disease. Unfortunately South Asians suffer the highest rates of abdominal obesity, type II diabetes and heart disease in the world. Our previous research has demonstrated the same problems among South Asians living in Canada. SAHARA is the first study in Canada designed to help South Asians lower their risk of heart disease, and we are looking for your support of this innovative project.  

What are the main goals of SAHARA?  

The purpose of SAHARA is to screen 1,000 South Asians from the Greater Toronto Area to determine their risk for heart disease and diabetes. Among those South Asians who use e-mail and other multimedia devices (e.g. smartphones, cell phones), we will test the effectiveness of a culturally tailored multi-media based intervention that provides health messaging and feedback designed to assist the participant in reducing their frequency of risk factors over a year long period. A repeat assessment after 12-months will reveal any changes in participants' heart disease risk profiles.

How will SAHARA benefit me?  

As a participant, you will receive a personal heart disease risk report and, if randomly selected, the opportunity to participate in our intervention cohort. By supporting the SAHARA project you will make it possible for many South Asians to learn about their health behaviours and risk of heart disease while supporting the development of a risk factor modification program that can be used on a larger scale. Most importantly, you will be helping us to potentially prevent the epidemic of heart disease and diabetes from spreading in the South Asian community.

How can I participate?  

Please contact us to find out more or visit us at one of our upcoming screening visits. Alternatively, you can complete our online questionnaire to receive your non-laboratory based heart disease risk assessment.


Click here to learn more about cardiovascular risk! (pptx file)

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The SAHARA Study • Conducted by Population Health Research Institute