Washington, Jul 31 (PTI) Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal along with lawmaker Joe Wilson introduced a bipartisan legislation in House of Representatives to raise awareness regarding the alarming rate at which the South Asian community is developing heart disease. Also Read - Monsoon Session Day 2: Lok Sabha Passes Essential Commodities Bill to Raise Farmer Income, Boost Agri Sector | Highlights

Introducing the South Asian Heart Health Awareness and Research Act, Jayapal said the bill will create grants at the CDC, NIH, and USDA to fund heart health research and promotion among South Asian populations. Also Read - 'Jammu And Kashmir to Reopen For Tourism Soon', Says J&K Administration

“We hope, through doing this, that we can help save lives, develop tools, and support valuable research that can broadly benefit the American public,” Jayapal, the first time Democratic lawmaker, said on the House floor last week. Also Read - COVID-19: Centre Announces Guidelines For Unlock 2, Lockdown Till July 31 in Containment Zones

“Coming from countries including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal, South Asians are the sixth largest and fastest growing ethnic group in the Nation,” she said.

Despite a traditional diet that is high in lentils, vegetables, grains, and spices, heart disease is on the rise in these communities, Jayapal rued.

“A Stanford study has found that South Asians have a four times greater risk of developing heart disease than the general population and have a much greater risk of having a heart attack before the age of 50. Coupled with the prevalence of diabetes in the South Asian community, something needs to be done,” she said.

Introduced in the House on Friday, the bill now has 19 co-sponsors.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.