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That's why funding for projects that break down racial and ethnic data beyond the broad categories is so important, the researchers said.Funding for projects that look more deeply at issues facing specific Asian American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander populations is also key.Even things like smoking rates can vary widely across groups within the larger population.Social differences, such as how and why a population first moved to the U. in large numbers, also can influence health, the researchers said."But if we don't recognize the diversity with the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations, we're not going to have a good picture of the health outcomes for these groups." The findings were published recently by , the open-access arm of the Journal of the American Medical Association.Co-authors include Yumie Takata, Kari-Lyn Sakuma and Veronica Irvin, all assistant professors in OSU's College of Public Health and Human Sciences.
Lumping these diverse populations together can hide real differences when it comes to health issues, Doan said.When all Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are lumped together, adult rates of liver cancer are double those of non-Hispanic white adults.But when the data is further broken down, incidence of liver cancer is seven times higher for Laotian men and nine times higher for Laotian women.The National Institutes of Health is the largest biomedical research funder in the United States and the agency has established that projects focused on diverse populations should be a priority, Doan said.Her work was designed to explore how this commitment has impacted research on Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations.