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CAUSES: Causes of Asian American mortality Understood by Socio-Economic Status

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PROJECT SUMMARY Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, with a population of over 14 million that is projected to reach nearly 34 million by 2050. However, our current understanding of Asian Americans is as an aggregated group, and very little is known about the six diverse Asian American racial/ethnic subgroups (Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese), who have a wide range of disease risks, immigration histories, and socioeconomic status. There is currently a knowledge gap on the health of these expanding subpopulations, and there is no information to recommend research agendas, create public health policy, and offer clinical guidelines. Our current understanding of Asian American mortality patterns is distorted by the aggregation of distinct subgroups, the grouping of foreign-born and U.S.- born populations, and the unknown impact of sociodemographic factors. While the U.S. Census first started disaggregating Asian subgroups in 1980, disaggregation of Asian subgroups on U.S. death records occurred much later in 2003, and now over half of the 50 U.S. States disaggregate Asian subgroups. The goal of this study is to examine racial/ethnic, nativity, and geographic differences in Asian American subgroup mortality compared to other racial/ethnic groups (Non-Hispanic Whites, African Americans, Hispanics). Investigation of cause-specific mortality in distinct subgroups, by nativity, and considering sociodemographic factors will be fundamental in assessing and addressing health disparities in Asian American communities.
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