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).

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!

I benefited a lot from the program. Now I feel very light and this has increased my confidence. I was 159 pounds before the program but now I weigh 145 pounds. When I was heavier, I had a lot of problems getting up and walking, and couldn’t sit down. Even after the program has ended, I am continuing to exercise, and it is a great feeling.”
— Rashida, SAHELI Study participant