South Asian Healthy Lifestyle Initiative (SAHELI)

SAHELI is one of the first healthy lifestyle research programs for South Asians (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Nepali ) in the U.S.

South Asians are underrepresented in heart disease prevention research even though they have a very high risk compared to other ethnic groups in the U.S. Our goal is to understand the best ways to lower heart disease risk in South Asians.

In 2013, SAHELI was awarded the Community-Engaged Research Partnership Award by the Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities (ARCC).

Sadaf auntie.JPG

“I had a great experience with SAHELI study and it's team. I learned a lot from the materials and learned how to be fit and healthy. They have a lot of good information like eating brown rice and bread instead of white and avoid sweets and fats. I applied to my family whatever I learned and now my family members are also aware of this information which they were not before.”

-Sadaf, SAHELI study participant

The SAHELI study team had a wonderful free community health screening event held at the Balaji temple in Aurora on August 3rd, 2019.


February 2019

Please share our SAHELI infographic with family and friends! Knowing these facts can save your life!

 Click below for a printable version.

May 2018

Congratulations to Dr. Namratha Kandula whose work with SAHELI and MASALA studies was highlighted in the American Heart Association Scientific Statement "Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease in South Asians in the United States: Epidemiology, Risk Factors, and Treatments".




  • If you are a South Asian adult (18-65 years old)

  • Have not had a heart attack or stroke

  • Live in the Chicagoland area

    You may be eligible to participate in this study. 

Heart Disease is Preventable!

Before SAHELI, I did not know that I had any health problems. SAHELI helped me to become aware of my diabetes. Being part of the study has improved my health and my sugar has now decreased. My body feels invigorated and refreshed.”
— Ashwin, SAHELI Study participant