The South Asian Genes and Health in Australia Study (SAGHA)

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia and the world.
Both our genetics and lifestyle are important factors for heart disease. But we know that there are differences in risk and age at which disease occurs depending on your ancestry. However, our knowledge about heart disease and medical guidelines in Australia are based on data from mostly people of European ancestry. 

The need for more research in South Asian populations:
There are very few studies done on DNA and heart disease in South Asians. South Asians make up almost 25% of the world’s population, but less than 2% of genetic research participants. Greater representation of South Asians in health and genetic research will help us in the future to reduce heart disease in this population and improve healthcare for Australians of South Asian ancestry.

Although South Asians make up 23% of the world’s population, only 1.3% of genetic study participants are South Asian. (Image from

What is the SAGHA study?

We want to support more South Asians in Australia to take part in health and genetic research, as this will help improve the health of future generations of South Asians living in Australia. To do this, we will:

Have discussions with South Asian community members in Australia to understand what things may stop them from taking part in health and genetic research.

Develop guidelines for doing health and genetic research that are respectful of South Asian culture.

Assess heart disease risk in 200 South Asians living in Queensland. This will involve collecting a DNA sample and information on their health.

Who can join?

We are looking for Queensland community members over the age of 18 years who have the following heritages: Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, or Bangladeshi. You can choose to take part in the first stage of the study (Focus Group discussions), or second stage (genetic study to assess your heart disease risk), or you may take part in both stages.  

Why join our study?

You will help improve the health of future generations of South Asians living in Australia.  

Who is funding and sponsoring this study?

This study is funded by the Australian Government Medical Research Future Fund and The University of Queensland is the sponsor.

About HSU

The Human Studies Unit at the University of Queensland is supporting the SAGHA study. At HSU, we combine laboratory and computing expertise to generate genomic data, and provide data management solutions, to advance understanding of common complex diseases and benefit those affected by them. 

Get In Touch

If you have any further questions, please contact us via email at
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