249895 Asian-American elders and cancer: A comparative study

Monday, October 31, 2011

James H. Swan, PhD , Department of Sociology, Programs in Applied Gerontology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
Ami Moore, PhD , Department of Sociology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
A life-course approach was used to examine the likelihood of cancer among Asian-Americans relative to other groups of Americans aged 50 or over, drawing data from the National Health Interview Surveys for 2002 through 2009 (using the SUBPOPN command in SAS-Callable Sudaan). We compared native-born Asians to native-born non-Hispanic whites and foreign-born Americans, considering length of stay (shorter tenure and longer tenure in the U.S). Cancer is 30 percent as likely among foreign-born whites in the U.S. with less than 15 years tenure as among native-born whites but two-thirds as likely among other foreign-born with 15 or more years in the U.S. The likelihood of cancer is significantly greater among the foreign-born with shorter tenure. Furthermore, native-born Asian Americans are two-thirds as likely as native-born whites to report cancer, while foreign-born Asians with less than 15 years in the U.S. are only one-fifth as likely as native-born whites to report cancer. Foreign-born Asians with 15 years or more of tenure in the U.S. are about 30 percent as likely. The differential between shorter and longer-tenure Asian immigrants was not significant. In sum, Asian Americans not only show lower rates of cancer than white Americans, but there is also no evidence that Asian immigrants with longer tenure in the U.S. show higher cancer rates than those with shorter tenure. In the same way, Asian immigrants show lower rates of cancer than other immigrants. As some studies have indicated, Asian dietary regimens may be a factor in protecting Asians from cancer.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Participants should be able to: describe differences in cancer in Asian Americans compared to others; evaluate such differentials differ over age, historical time, birth outside the U.S., and time lived in the U.S.; and consider implications for programs addressing cancer.

Keywords: Cancer, Asian Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Over 30 years of health services, public health, and gerontological research experience; several years experience using National Health Interview Survey data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.