April 2013 News

Check Out Our Most Recent Uploaded Patient Educational Materials and Research Resouces!

For a web tool search on Asian materials, check out the Asian Pacific Islander cancer materials web tool!

For research resouces, check out Stars, a Standardizing survey questions for breast cancer research!

Lung Cancer Study

An international group of scientists has identified three genetic regions that predispose Asian women who have never smoked to lung cancer. The finding provides further evidence that risk of lung cancer among never-smokers, especially Asian women, may be associated with certain unique inherited genetic characteristics that distinguishes it from lung cancer in smokers.

Lung cancer in never-smokers is the seventh leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, and the majority of lung cancers diagnosed historically among women in Eastern Asia have been in women who never smoked. The specific genetic variations found in this study had not been associated with lung cancer risk in other populations.


Asian Americans, Mental Health, and Tobacco Use from the 2009–2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

Based on the 2009-2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the CDC reports that 14.9% of Asian American men and 16.6% of Asian American women report having any mental illness. Asian Americans with mental illness have a current smoking prevalence twice as high as those without (20.6% vs. 10.4%). Asian American women with any mental illness have 3 times the smoking prevalence of those without (16.0% vs. 5.5%).

Mental illness was assessed for the preceding year using a series of 14 questions that made up two scales measuring psychological distress (Kessler-6) and disability (World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule). It should be noted that the NSDUH is conducted at the respondent’s household but only in English or Spanish, potentially missing 1/3 of Asian Americans who have limited English proficiency.

Details can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm62e0205a1.htm?s_cid=mm62e0205a1_e

Asian Vaccination coverage from the CDC: MMWR Vol. 62 / Early Release

With the caveat that this is data from the National Health Interview Survey, which is not administered in an Asian language and therefore misses about 1/3 of Asian Americans, this report contains very interesting information about vaccination rates.

A few highlights:

- Only 12% of high-risk Asian Americans age 19-64 received the pneumococcal vaccination compared to 20% of non-Hispanic whites. Only 40% of Asian Americans age 65+ had it compared to 66% among non-Hispanic whites.
- Only 12% of Asian Americans age 19-64 received a combined tetanus and pertussis shot in the last 6 years.
- Only 41% of Asian Americans age 19-49 had hepatitis B vaccination.
- Only 14% of Asian Americans age 60+ had a shingles vaccination.
- Only 22% of Asian American women age 19-24 had human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine compared to 33% of non-Hispanic whites.

The report is available on line at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm62e0129.pdf

The Institute for Asian American Studies at University of Massachusetts-Boston has published a report, "Information on Small Populations with Significant Health Disparities: A Report on Data Collected on the Health of Asian Americans in Massachusetts."

The report can be downloaded at

Learn more about the Institute

2012 Dec News