Why did I think reading angry asian man was going to help matters?
Often, medical literature is based on studies done on white Americans, whose health issues can be very different from those of Asian descent.
Scientists and patients alike say they face a serious lack of health information on Asian-Americans. Much of the standard information on diseases and treatments is based on research done on white Americans, whose health issues can be very different from those of Asian descent.
Broadening the problem is the large number of ethnicities and nationalities that fall within the ``Asian'' category. People living in countries from Korea to Vietnam to India view themselves as very distinct from one another, and often have different health problems. But in the United States, they are often lumped together -- including in medical studies done on Asian-Americans.
With groups such as whites and African-Americans, ``we have a much better idea of the leading health problems and how they have changed over time,'' said Dr. William Satariano, a specialist on aging at the University of California-Berkeley's School of Public Health. ``We simply don't have that information about Asian-American groups.''
Reasons for the lack of information on Asian health are complex. Because Americans of Asian descent make up about 4 percent of the overall U.S. population, and about 12 percent of California's population, there are relatively few people from any given culture to study. Language and cultural differences are other barriers.
Some experts point to misperceptions that Asians are a model minority who don't need services, or that Asians are alike enough to be lumped together in studies.
They argue that Asian groups can differ dramatically in income, lifestyle, diet, genetics and other factors that affect health risks. Once different Asian groups are examined separately, they say, unexpectedly high disease rates often appear.
The article does, well, not conflate exactly, but the author mentions infectious disease rates for immigrants from a certain area, (apparent) genetic predisposition towards other diseases and the traditional diets of various groups. All of which contribute to creating differences in health issues, but obviously not all of these are controllable, and none of them can be determined at first glance. Toss in language barriers and cultural differences impeding the lengthy dialogue that's required between doctor and patient, and. . . sorry, near-full moon making me analytical. I'll have some herbal tea or something.