The Asian American Health web resource, sponsored by the National Library of Medicine, is designed to increase public awareness of the health concerns of these important minority groups, who are major contributors to our society's economy, innovation, and vibrancy. Links are provided to an assortment of documents, web sites, databases, and other resources.
Asian Americans represent a large and rapidly growing segment of the U.S. population. A recent U.S. Census estimate puts their combined numbers at over 11 million people and predicts a better than tripling in population by 2050. They are exceedingly diverse, coming from nearly fifty countries and ethnic groups, each with distinct cultures, traditions, and histories, and they speak over 100 languages and dialects. Asian American diversity extends to socioeconomic indicators, with members found throughout the spectra of poverty to wealth, and illiteracy to advanced education (U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features).
Although Asian Americans in the United States suffer from the same health problems as the population at large, certain illnesses predominate. There is a particularly high rate of liver cancer among Asian Americans, while lung cancer is their leading cause of cancer death. Vietnamese women's cervical cancer rate is five times that of Caucasian women. Asian Americans have among the highest rates of tuberculosis and hepatitis B in the United States. Asian Indians have an unusually high rate of coronary artery disease, and parasitic infections are particularly widespread among Southeast Asian refugees (Cancer Facts on Asians & Pacific Islanders).