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Health Literacy as a Social Determinant of Health in Asian American Immigrants: Findings from a Population-Based Survey in California (Journal of General Internal Medicine)

Publication Topics

California Health Interview Survey; 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2007); Asian; Immigrant; General Health; Health Behaviors

Publication Type

CHIS Journal Article

Publication Date


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Asian American immigrants have a lower level of health literacy than non-Latino whites, but their level of health literacy and its impact on health outcomes may differ among subgroups.

The authors investigated the level of health literacy across five subgroups of Asian-American immigrants and explored the association between health literacy and self-rated health status and symptoms of depression. They used 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), to sample 30,615 non-Latino whites and 3,053 Asian American immigrants (1,058 Chinese, 598 Koreans, 534 Filipinos, 416 South Asians, and 447 Vietnamese) and investigated the effect of health literacy on two main health outcomes: self-rated health status and depression symptoms.

The level of health literacy varied across the five subgroups of Asian American immigrants. Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese groups had the lowest levels of health literacy, while Filipinos showed the highest level. Health literacy was positively correlated with health status in Chinese and Korean immigrants, and negatively correlated with depression symptoms in Korean and South Asian immigrants. Koreans were the only group found to have a significant association between the proxy for health literacy and both health outcomes.


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Journal Article: Health Literacy as a Social Determinant of Health in Asian American Immigrants: Findings from a Population-Based Survey in California

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Press Release

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California Health Interview Survey (CHIS)

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Last modified at 3/9/2015 1:32 PM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|venetia