Call to Action: Cardiovascular Disease in Asian Americans
In 2009, President Obama signed an Executive Order calling for strategies to improve the health of Asian Americans and to seek data on the health disparities in Asian American subgroups.1 Data on Asian American subgroups are scarce and many health disparities remain unknown. The purpose of this Advisory is to highlight the gaps in existing research on cardiovascular disease (CVD) among Asian Americans, and to serve as a call to action on behalf of the American Heart Association to address these areas of need.
Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, representing 25% of all foreign-born people in the United States.2 They are projected to reach nearly 34 million by 2050.3 Several major Federal surveys (eg, the American Community Survey, the National Health Interview Survey, and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey) only recently started to classify Asian Americans into 7 subgroups: Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Other Asian. The first six of these subgroups together constitute >90% of Asian Americans in the United States.4 Although some data are available on Asian subgroups from these major federal surveys, in general, these data are not available for public use because of the privacy concerns resulting from the small sample sizes within subgroups. This situation limits their utility for health-related research.