Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 890–894 | Cite as

Health Risk Behaviors Among Five Asian American Subgroups in California: Identifying Intervention Priorities

  • Annette E. Maxwell
  • Catherine M. Crespi
  • Ryan E. Alano
  • Madhuri Sudan
  • Roshan Bastani
Brief Communication


This analysis assessed the prevalence of excess body weight, physical inactivity and alcohol and tobacco use in Asian American subgroups. Using 2005 California Health Interview Survey data, we estimated the prevalence of body mass index (BMI) categories using both standard and World Health Organization-proposed Asian-specific categories, physical inactivity, and alcohol and tobacco use for Chinese (n = 1,285), Japanese (n = 421), Korean (n = 620), Filipino (n = 659) and Vietnamese (n = 480) Americans in California. About 80% of Japanese and Filipino American men and 70% of Korean American men were “increased/high risk” by Asian-specific BMI categories. Most Asian American subgroups were more likely to walk for transportation than non-Hispanic whites, but less likely to report other physical activities. Highest smoking and binge drinking prevalences were among Korean, Vietnamese and Filipino American men and Japanese and Korean American women. These results suggest risk profiles for each Asian American subgroup to consider when setting priorities for health promotion programs.


Asian American subgroups California Health Interview Survey Body mass index Health risk behaviors 



The preparation of this paper was funded in part by P01 CA109091 from the National Cancer Institute and National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. C.M.C. was supported by NIH/NCI grant P30 CA16042 and R.E.A. was supported by NIH/NCI grant 5R25CA078583.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annette E. Maxwell
    • 1
  • Catherine M. Crespi
    • 1
  • Ryan E. Alano
    • 1
  • Madhuri Sudan
    • 1
  • Roshan Bastani
    • 1
  1. 1.UCLA Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research, Los Angeles School of Public Health, UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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