Covering Health for Specific Ethnic Minority Groups

One of the most important topics that really force people to take action are health-related stories. Although people generally don't take care of themselves these days due to fast-paced lifestyles, when issues do occur they look for answers. In Understanding Ethnic Media: Producers, Consumers and Societies, Matthew Matsaganis often noted the importance of ethnic media in regards to helping people not accustomed to American systems become more aware. He mentions voting and becoming socially active, which immigrants have a hard time getting into when they first move here.

For older people in different ethnic groups, especially those who do not speak English, there's very little information they will be able to access on their own about health concerns. Matsaganis specifically mentioned health in the book a few times because it is what most people care about. Having an ethnic media organization that can report on health issues about a group can be highly beneficial to these elderly.

The older immigrants who come here also lack the education from their homeland because that information wasn't obtained yet, or their country didn't have the facilities to do the research. In this entire semester, I've covered many issues regarding different Asian ethnic groups. From basic research, I've found that each group has very specific risks for different diseases.

According to a Business Korea report on a World Health Organization study, cancer is the highest ranked cause of death in South Koreans. The leading cause of death for Japanese people, according to the World Life Expectancy, is stroke. And the No. 1 health concern for almost all Asian groups, both in their homelands and in the U.S. is cardiovascular disease.

After reading the study by the American Heart Association, I decided to cover Asian Indians. The leading cause of death for them in India and in the U.S. is myocardial infarctions, also known as heart attacks. Heart disease is a global issue, but for Asians, it's really alarming because it's also a genetic concern for them. If a disease is genetic, their risks are just going to be higher no matter how healthy they try to be.

In my reporting, I've spoken with a cardiologist, Dr. Navin Nanda and an internist, Dr. Arabinda Behura. I wanted to get insight from more than one expert to see if the facts check out and if the problem is as much of an issue in the U.S. as it is in India.

I learned that no matter where someone goes, he or she will run into the same issues. Due to globalization and receiving similar products both in the U.S. and in second-world Asian countries, immigrating to the U.S. will present a similar lifestyle. The only way to control heart disease is to control one's lifestyle, so that includes conscious decisions on food one eats, and the amount of daily exercise one is getting.

Globalization also works positively, in that awareness of certain diseases in the U.S. is also brought up in other nations that didn't have a proper education before. This is happening partly due to community awareness in American residents, who pass on the information from local news to their families across the seas.

My coverage on Asian Indians and heart disease