Dr Sonia Anand is working to knock cardiovascular disease off its position as the biggest killer of Canadians.
She conducted the EpiDream study funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to identify key lifestyle and sociocultural factors that are associated with the development of four major metabolic syndrome-related risk factors for heart disease.
For this, she studied abdominal obesity and risk of Type 2 Diabetes in 24,000 people from 21 countries.
Dr Anand won the Cardiovascular Society Young Investigator Award and the Canadian Society Internal Medicine Young Investigator Award. She is the holder of the endowed Eli Lilly Canada-May Cohen Chair in Women’s Health and has also won the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Clinician Scientist Award.
Her work encompasses diabetes and obesity, with an added emphasis on women’s health.
Dr Anand says this is very relevant to South Asians who have a propensity to put on abdominal fat; this leads to diabetes which can lead to heart attacks.
On top of Dr Anand’s list of factors that contribute to a high risk of heart disease among South Asians is the lack of physical activity.
“Build in regular physical activity in your daily routine,” she advises.
“Wear a step counter and aim for 10,000 steps a day. Be modest in calorie consumption.”