Skip to Content
| News

Jayapal Celebrates House Passage of Landmark South Asian Heart Health Legislation

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass Representative Pramila Jayapal’s (D-WA-07) bipartisan South Asian Heart Health Awareness and Research Act, a landmark bill that would work to raise awareness on the alarming rate of heart disease in the South Asian community and work to reverse the trend. 

Statement from Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal:

“Today is an important day for the South Asian community. This is the culmination of years of work from both inside and outside Congress to address one of the most devastating silent killers of South Asian Americans in our country. With the passage of my bill, the House of Representatives continues to live up to its commitment of being a people’s body that responds to the challenges that different communities face.  To South Asian Americans across the country, we hope that the passage of this bill is a meaningful sign that diverse representation matters and that your engagement, advocacy and participation in our democracy can bring meaningful progress for communities everywhere.   

“South Asian Americans have the highest death rate from heart disease than any other racial or ethnic group in our country, and almost two-thirds of middle-aged South Asian Americans are at intermediate risk of heart failure within the next 10 years. This is a disease that is ravaging my community – and most don’t even know about it. Information is one of the most crucial tools in our toolbox in the fight to save lives. My bipartisan bill will increase awareness and understanding of this devastating disease among the South Asian community, give people the tools to better manage their health, and ultimately, could lead to the discovery of a new drug that can help patients survive heart disease.

“I’d like to thank my co-lead Congressman Joe Wilson for his commitment to this bill, as well as Energy & Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone and Speaker Nancy Pelosi for their tremendous leadership in bringing the bill to the floor.  Now we will work tirelessly to ensure passage through the Senate.”

Statement from Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC-02):

“I am grateful that this bipartisan legislation I led with Representative Jayapal passed the House today. Heart disease disproportionately affects certain populations such as the South Asian community, and this bill will expand research and education to benefit those communities. I urge the Senate to take up this important legislation.”

The South Asian Heart Health Awareness and Research Act would increase understanding of heart disease in the South Asian community; increase patient awareness; and could lead to discovery of new life-saving therapeutics for all patients similar to the discovery of a blockbuster cholesterol drug from a study on cholesterol in Black patients. 

The bill would:

  • Create heart health promotion grants at the Centers for Disease Control to develop culturally appropriate materials to promote heart health, support community groups involved in heart health promotion, and support conferences and workshops on research design to include communities disproportionately affected by heart disease, such as South Asian communities.
  • Establish through the National Institute of Health a clearinghouse and web portal of information on heart health, and conduct research on cardiovascular disease and other heart ailments among communities disproportionately affected by heart disease, such as South Asian populations living in the United States.

Cosponsors include: Pramila Jayapal, Joe Wilson, Ami Bera, Tony Cárdenas, André Carson, Yvette D. Clarke, Judy Chu, Gerald E. Connolly, Adriano Espaillat, Brian Fitzpatrick, Bill Foster, Raúl M. Grijalva, John Katko, Ro Khanna, Derek Kilmer, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Andy Levin, Carolyn B. Maloney, Gregory W. Meeks, Grace Meng, Jerrold Nadler, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Donald M. Payne, Jr., Bill Posey, Bobby L. Rush, Adam Smith, Thomas R. Suozzi, Mark Takano, William Timmons, Paul D. Tonko, Lauren Underwood, Nydia M. Velázquez, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Susan Wild 

Endorsing Organizations include: American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, American Medical Association, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Indian American Impact, South Asian Healthy Lifestyle Initiative (SAHELI), South Asian Public Health Association (SAPHA), The MASALA Study Steering Committee, The Mended Hearts, Inc, WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease