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CDC Celebrates Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage!

Photo: Asian American Family with Grandparents, Parents, and ChildrenDiscover the History, Learn about Programs, Delve into Health Disparities, and Link to more about Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander populations in the United States.

In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a monthlong celebration.

During the observance of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we celebrate the cultural traditions, ancestry, native languages, and unique experiences represented among more than 56 ethnic groups from Asia and the Pacific Islands (speaking over 100 languages) who live in the United States.

Photo: Young Native Hawaiian ManThis year, the AAPI Heritage Month theme is "I Am Beyond." The phrase captures the aspirations of the Aerican spirit and how Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have always sought to excel beyond the challenges that have limited equal opportunity in America.

Through the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, there is work to improve the quality of life and opportunities for Aisan Amiericans and Pacific Islanders by facilitating increased access to and participation in federal programs where they remain underserved.

Programs and Accomplishments

HHS Plan for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Health
This HHS plan illustrates measurable objectives that the Department will pursue to raise the visibility of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander health issues, health care and human services disparities.

Photo:  Indian Family working on a school project togetherVital Signs: Colorectal Cancer Tests Save Lives
The best test is the test that gets done.

Colorectal (Colon) Cancer: Reviewing Colorectal Cancer Incidence Trends Among Asian Subgroups
Understanding differences in the cancer burden among Asian subgroups is critical for targeting interventions.Through CDC's partnerships with the California Colorectal Cancer Coalition (C4) and the California Dialogue on Cancer, the California Cancer Registry (CCR) provides data that can guide cancer control efforts and inform the most affected communities.

Cancer Control in the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands
National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP)

Tips From Former Smokers: Asian Americans - Know the Facts
Smoking increases your risk for cancer, heart disease, and stroke — which already are leading causes of death for Asian Americans. About one in ten Asian American adults smokes cigarettes. However, cigarette smoking varies among the different subpopulations.

Decreased Smoking Disparities Among Vietnamese and Cambodian Communities – Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) Project, 2002-2006
The decline in smoking prevalence at the population level among Vietnamese and Cambodian men in three REACH communities as described in this report might serve as a model for promising interventions in these populations.

Strategies for Reducing Health Disparities – Selected CDC-Sponsored Interventions, United States, 2014. MMWR Supplement, April 18, 2014/63(01);37-45.

Photo:  Young Pacific Islander WomanHHS, OMH: National Hepatitis B Initiative for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Viral Hepatitis: Asian & Pacific Islanders
Asian and Pacific Islanders are at higher risk for Hepatitis B, which can lead to liver cancer. Early diagnosis of Hepatitis B and access to lifesaving medical care can help reduce these inequalities.

Know Hepatitis B
CDC developed educational materials in seven Asian languages for the Know Hepatitis B National Campaign.

Hypertension, Abnormal Cholesterol, and High Body Mass Index Among Non-Hispanic Asian Adults: United States, 2011-2012[1 MB]
CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released a report, NCHS Data Brief, No. 140, in January 2014 on the prevalence of selected health conditions in the Asian adult population in the United States. Data in the report are based on physical measurements obtained by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

CDC Health Disparities & Inequalities Report (CHDIR)

Logo: CDC Health Disparities & Inequalities Report (CHDIR) 2013The CDC Health Disparities & Inequalities Report - United States, 2013 (CHDIR) is important for encouraging action and facilitating accountability to reduce modifiable disparities by using interventions that are effective and scalable. The report also underscores the need for more consistent data on population characteristics that have often been lacking in health surveys such as disability status and sexual orientation.

For examples of some important health disparities affecting the Asian American and the Native Hawaiican and Other Pacific Islander populations reported in the CHDIR, see the Asian American Populations and the Native Hawaiians & Other Pacific Islander Populations web pages.

More Information

More Information

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Photo: Young Asian Boy eating lunch

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US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
Office of Minority Health (OMH)

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  • Page last reviewed: May 12, 2014
  • Page last updated: May 12, 2014
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