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Comparative Study
, 118 (2), e363-70

Asthma Prevalence in Hispanic and Asian American Ethnic Subgroups: Results From the California Healthy Kids Survey

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Comparative Study

Asthma Prevalence in Hispanic and Asian American Ethnic Subgroups: Results From the California Healthy Kids Survey

Adam M Davis et al. Pediatrics.

Abstract

Objectives: Asthma prevalence for different ethnic groups in the United States, beyond white, black and Hispanic, is seldom reported. We compared the prevalence of asthma diagnosis among various Hispanic and Asian American ethnic subgroups using data collected from the school-based California Healthy Kids Survey.

Methods: The California Healthy Kids Survey was administered to 462 147 public school students in the seventh, ninth, and 11th grades throughout California during the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 school years. Prevalence of lifetime asthma diagnosis was calculated for 11 Asian American Pacific Islander subgroups and 8 Hispanic subgroups.

Results: Asthma prevalence among Hispanic subgroups ranged from 13.2% for Mexican American students to 22.8% for Puerto Rican students and 23.0% among Cuban American students. Lifetime asthma diagnosis among the 11 Asian American Pacific Islander subgroups ranged from 10.9% among Korean American students to 23.8% among Filipino American students.

Conclusions: The survey revealed substantial variation in asthma prevalence between the different Hispanic and Asian American Pacific Islander subgroups and that Pacific Islanders, Filipinos, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans are at elevated risk for asthma. Differences in the distributions of characteristics related to country of birth, residential history, generational status, and/or degree of acculturation might account for much of the observed differences in asthma prevalence between ethnic subgroups. Previous asthma prevalence estimates for Asians or Hispanics are in part a function of the particular ethnic composition of the population under investigation. We suggest that asthma studies that include a substantial number of Asian Pacific Islander and Hispanic persons use a more detailed categorization of race/ethnicity.

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