Asian Americans (AsA), Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) comprise 7.7% of the U.S. population, and AsA have had the fastest growth rate since 2010. Yet the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has invested only 0.17% of its budget on AsA and NHPI research between 1992 and 2018. More than 40 ethnic subgroups are included within AsA and NHPI (with no majority subpopulation), which are highly diverse culturally, demographically, linguistically, and socioeconomically. However, data for these groups are often aggregated, masking critical health disparities and their drivers. To address these issues, in March 2021, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, in partnership with 8 other NIH institutes, convened a multidisciplinary workshop to review current research, knowledge gaps, opportunities, barriers, and approaches for prevention research for AsA and NHPI populations. The workshop covered 5 domains: 1) sociocultural, environmental, psychological health, and lifestyle dimensions; 2) metabolic disorders; 3) cardiovascular and lung diseases; 4) cancer; and 5) cognitive function and healthy aging. Two recurring themes emerged: Very limited data on the epidemiology, risk factors, and outcomes for most conditions are available, and most existing data are not disaggregated by subgroup, masking variation in risk factors, disease occurrence, and trajectories. Leveraging the vast phenotypic differences among AsA and NHPI groups was identified as a key opportunity to yield novel clues into etiologic and prognostic factors to inform prevention efforts and intervention strategies. Promising approaches for future research include developing collaborations with community partners, investing in infrastructure support for cohort studies, enhancing existing data sources to enable data disaggregation, and incorporating novel technology for objective measurement. Research on AsA and NHPI subgroups is urgently needed to eliminate disparities and promote health equity in these populations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine