Paul Ong, UCLA professor of public policy, social welfare and Asian American studies, and Ninez Ponce, UCLA professor of health services, recently wrote “The State of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Health in California Report,” which is the first to use statewide health data on this population and split into subgroups by ethnicity.
Among the professors’ findings is that California’s AANHPI population numbers more than 5 million and accounts for more than 14 percent of the state’s total population. For them, liver cancer, cervical cancer and prostate cancer are the leading causes of death. They also suffer the most compared to other races in tuberculosis and hepatitis B as diabetes overwhelmingly increases among the population.
The report also states that Adult Filipino males have a higher percentage in smoking than the state average for all adult males. Koreans have the highest uninsured rate of 33 percent compared to the state average of 15 percent. Vietnamese and NHPIs experience the highest rate of mental distress among the AANHPI population, while Vietnamese hold the highest in lacking mental health coverage.
This study is beneficial to providing insight to policymakers and health care providers to create programs that will improve this situation, according to California Assemblyman Mike Eng. “By providing disaggregated data, it provides necessary insight for policymakers and health care providers to design and implement programs that will improve the health of this vital population,” he said.
– by Stepfanie Aguilar