Health and illness in Pilipino immigrants

West J Med. 1983 Dec;139(6):811-9.


Immigrants from the Philippines and their descendants have tripled in number in the United States in the past 18 years. They will soon surpass 1 million and will be the largest Asian-American minority. Pilipinos in the United States are diverse ethnolinguistically and in important socioeconomic and demographic dimensions, one notable feature being the high level of education and professional status of many recent immigrants. Nevertheless, the health and disease circumstances of Pilipinos and their views of health and illness have been surprisingly neglected to date. A generic principle fundamental to their view of health is that concerning the maintenance of balance. Proper social and cultural conduct is believed to help avoid health problems. Imbalances in social relations, infringements of cultural norms or adverse interaction with the supernatural are linked, in the cultural logic of Pilipinos, to illness.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asian Americans / psychology*
  • Culture
  • Diet
  • Disease / etiology*
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Female
  • Health
  • Health Occupations
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Philippines / ethnology
  • Socialization
  • United States