New York Health Department releases its first-ever AAPI health report

NY Health Department AAPI Report

The New York Health Department released its first-ever Asian American and Pacific Islander health report on Dec. 10.

New report: The NY Health Department is distinguishing AAPI health information by ancestry for the first time, giving a better look into the health and inequities of communities identifying as Asian and Pacific Islanders.

  • The data in the report explores many factors of health, including mental health, birth outcomes, dental health, vaccinations, HIV prevention, cancer screening, and chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes as they affect the AAPI community. There is also additional information about COVID-19 and its impact on the AAPI community.
  • “Asians and Pacific Islanders are not a monolith. Our health data should reflect the breadth of ancestries present in our City’s API communities, so we may better understand and address health inequities,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, who is the first City Health Commissioner of Asian descent, in a press release.
  • In the past, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have not had in-depth health data collection that reflects the community’s diversity. By “disaggregating” the different Asian American ancestry within the community, the report attempts to better understand the differences in health inequity.
  • “This report helps to promote deeper understanding of API communities, including their diversity and complexity,” Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Raquel Batista said in the press release. “I congratulate and thank DOHMH for building this report. Building on this work, we look forward to continuing to work closely with DOHMH to reach these communities.”
  • This report is part of a larger series of reports detailing the health of specific populations of New Yorkers, including elderly and Latinx New Yorkers, to better understand the health inequities and unmet needs among its residents in support of a healthier city for all.
  • An executive summary of the report is available in 11 languages, including Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Bengali, Urdu, Hindi, Vietnamese, Punjabi, Nepali and Dari.

New data: The report uncovers some health information about New York’s AAPI communities that have not been previously explored.

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  • “This report also seeks to further dispel the ‘model minority’ myth that suggests that all APIs experience unprecedented health, economic and academic success,” according to the press release.
  • By disaggregating people of different Asian ancestry, the report found that “the prevalence of high blood pressure ranges from 15% among those of Korean ancestry to 31% among those of Indian ancestry.”
  • Sugary drink consumption rates among different API ancestry groups vary from 7% among East Asian adults to 28% among Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander groups.
  • A greater proportion of Indian adults report needing medical care but not getting it compared with Chinese adults.
  • The Health Department “collaborated with a group of 21 service providers, academics and community-based organizations” to put together what they believe is the most relevant information for AAPI communities.

Feature Image via Amazing Places on Our Planet and WCVB Channel 5 Boston

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