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Asian Americans' Health, 2009 Essay

3300 words - 13 pages

Throughout the United States, many diverse groups receive less quality healthcare than their white counterparts. This breach has existed since the beginning of U.S. history and has only begun to improve over the last twenty years. Even though goals have been made to narrow the health disparities that are being tracked, they still exist today. Many organizations have created goals to continue health research among minority groups in the U.S. in order to achieve adequate levels of healthcare for all those who are in need.Healthcare disparities affect those involved considerably. Minorities suffer from poor healthcare in several ways including: shorter life spans, lower quality lives due to preventable illnesses that go untreated, higher rates of illness and higher mortality rates. Healthcare disparities are often not caused by individual problems, but by a complex system of social interactions, cultural norms, genetics and economic factors. Each of these areas has a deep root in how individuals act and are treated in the healthcare system. By understanding how these areas affect various groups of people, society can help improve their health status and trust in the United States healthcare system.Asian-Americans are among different ethnic groups who report receiving worse healthcare than other groups in the U.S. "Asians receive worse care than whites for 21% of the measures studied by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality." The Asian population in the United States has reached over thirteen million according to the 2007 U.S. Census, a 26% increase since the 2000 U.S. Census. Asian populations began to come to the United States in the 1830's and dramatically increased starting in 1848 with the Gold Rush. By 1860, the Asian population, mostly Chinese, had reached 37,000 while the Japanese populations grew greatly in Hawaii and California to work in agriculture. Many other Asian groups entered as refugees following the Vietnam War. Considering there was such a large influx of Asians into the United States in 1980, social and cultural values are very different from the white population for the majority of them. This places a large role in healthcare disparities.Asians come from a background very different from the traditional Western style which plays a huge role on their views regarding healthcare. They use mostly alternative medicine which focuses on a holistic sphere. They believe that the mind and body are thoroughly connected and must be healed together. They have greater expectations of their doctors, and prefer close contact with not only their doctors but other healthcare providers as well. One traditional healing method used by Asians are the Ayurvedic traditions.Ayurvedic traditions are considered alternative medicine in the Western world and tend to combine methods such as herbs, diet, acupressure, yoga, psychiatry and massage. Their healthcare goals lie with preventative medicine. Such goals tend to involve good digestion, yoga,...

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