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Group asians have higher education and income than

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group, Asians have higher education andincome than the general U.S. population, buthave less access to health care than otherracial/ethnic subgroups.1Local data supportsthis finding.In fact, Asian residents in Houston/Harris County face the following disparities inhealth determinants, compared with other racial/ethnic groups:As a group, Asians have highereducation and incomes.However, theVietnamese subgroup tends to havelower formal education and income.2Asians are more likely to be uninsuredand have less access to health care.Risk factors for Asians differ accordingto cultural practices, immigration history,acculturation to the U.S., and socio-economic status.1For example, someAsian groups tend to have diets high insodium (soy sauce, etc.) and nitrates(pickled foods, etc.) which can increasethe risk of stomach cancer.1SouthAsians tend to have diets higher incholesterol and fat, leading to greaterrates of diabetes and cardiovasculardisease.1Data on the health status of Asians is scarce forseveral reasons.First, the small statistical size anddiversity of this group pose challenges for data col-lection.For example, population-based surveysused by state and local governments do not over-sample this group (to achieve a statistically signifi-cant sample), or have the resources to translatesurveys into the various languages which areneeded.This is particularly important since nearlythree quarters of Asians in Houston are immigrantsand English-speaking ability is limited.Also, sincelanguage is a measure of acculturation to Americanlifestyles, the health and socio-economic profiles ofAsians who speak English and those that do notare very different.1Data for Asians may not be collected at all, or maybe unusable, particularly if it is collected in ananonymous racial category of “Other.”1Collecteddata is often not systematically analyzed due tolack of political power and invisibility of this popula-tion.1Furthermore, the stereotype of Asians as the“Model Minority” persists, so problems experiencedby this group, or its constituent subgroups, areoverlooked.1Since Asians represent both ex-tremes of socio-economic and health status, aggre-gate data for this population often masks problemsexperienced by disadvantaged groups and pre-vents them from obtaining necessary resources.1With the paucity of data for Asians, research playsan important role in providing information.How-ever, the special interests of researchers are insuf-ficient to provide comprehensive data on the healthstatus of Asians.Better data is needed on theAsian population and its constituent subgroups.This will require oversampling of the population, aswell as the ability to conduct surveys in differentlanguages.1Without data, the health status ofAsians or Asian subgroups cannot be tracked, norcan their changing health needs be met as theybecome more acculturated in the U.S.

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