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Using Geographical Spatial Analysis to Understand the Influence of Social Network on Health in the MASALA Dataset

Authors: Xiaohui Liu*, NIH-National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), Francisco Alejandro Montiel Ishino, NIH-National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), Bonita Salmeron, NIH-National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), Faustine Williams, NIH-National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Population Geography, Social Geography
Keywords: South Asians, Social Network, Geospatial, Cardiometabolic Diseases
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

South Asians are one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the United States (U.S.). Evidence suggests that social networks and social supports may affect the health of immigrants who live away from their homeland. Studies have also shown that South Asians have 2-to-4 fold increased prevalence for cardiometabolic diseases (e.g. type 2 diabetes and hypertension) compared to other racial/ethnic groups. While the reasons for this are complex and not well understood, some have attributed the problem to poor healthcare access, often attributed to linguistic, cultural, and financial barriers, as well as a lack of health insurance, inadequate language-interpretation services, and inaccurate perceptions about healthcare.
This study proposes to understand how: (1) geographic access to social services (e.g., retailers, recreational facilities etc.) impact the frequency and quality of social interactions, (2) the quality and frequency of social interaction affect health behavior, and the prevalence of cardiometabolic diseases, and (3) social network affiliation influence health decision making and outcomes among South Asian adults living in the U.S. Furthermore, we will assess and compare how social interaction differ between participants in San Francisco and Chicago, which are the two study sites of Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America (MASALA).

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