Causes of Asian American mortality Understood by Socio-Economic Status (CAUSES) Study

The CAUSES Study is a five-year study designed to examine mortality differences in Asian American racial/ethnic subgroups (Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese) compared to three referent groups (NHWs, Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics). It is funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health.

Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, with a population of over 14 million that is projected to reach nearly 34 million by 2050. However, our current understanding of Asian Americans is as an aggregated group, and very little is known about the six diverse Asian American racial/ethnic subgroups (Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese), who have a wide range of disease risks, immigration histories, and socioeconomic status. 

Our current understanding of Asian American mortality patterns is distorted by the aggregation of distinct subgroups, the grouping of foreign-born and U.S.- born populations, and the unknown impact of sociodemographic factors. While the U.S. Census first started disaggregating Asian subgroups in 1980, disaggregation of Asian subgroups on U.S. death records occurred much later in 2003, and now over half of the 50 U.S. States disaggregate Asian subgroups. A decade of national mortality data (2003-2012) for Asian American subgroups will soon be available. In this proposal, we aim to examine mortality differences in Asian American racial/ethnic subgroups (Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese) compared to three referent groups (NHWs, Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics). This study will fill the current knowledge gap, and provide important insights to inform treatment and prevention efforts for diverse Asian American subgroups.