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Korean-American Community Health in California


Host Institution
University of California, Berkeley (previous center): Center for Family and Community Health

Health Topics
Cancer | Nutrition | Tobacco prevention and control

Researchers and the center’s Korean American Community Advisory Board (KCAB) sought to share community-specific health data to establish research and program priorities. Researchers analyzed data from the 2001–2005 California Health Interview Surveys (800 Korean-American respondents) and the California Korean American Tobacco Use Survey (1,900 Korean-American California residents in 2004).

Analysis of the state health interview data showed notable disparities in health risks and behaviors for Korean Americans when compared with other groups of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) adults. Compared with other API groups, Korean Americans were less likely to be proficient in English; more likely to engage in binge drinking (5 or more drinks per occasion) and smoke cigarettes; least likely to have health and dental insurance coverage and to have used less health care. Korean American women were the least likely of API women to have received Pap tests and mammograms. Korean Americans were also less likely to have arthritis, asthma, or high blood pressure or to be obese.
Analysis of the tobacco-use surveys revealed that household smoking bans positively influenced Korean Americans’ intention to quit smoking. These data suggest the need for programs that are culturally sensitive, linguistically appropriate, and targeted to Korean Americans. The center is continuing to analyze data and is working with the KCAB to share the results with local Korean communities and other stakeholders to establish and address health priorities.

Myung SK, McDonnell DD, Kazinets G, Seo HG, Moskowitz JM. Relationships between household smoking restrictions and intention to quit smoking among Korean American male smokers in California. Journal of Korean Medical Science 2010; 25:245-50.
Research Setting
No specific focus
Race or Ethnicity
No specific focus
Age Group
Adults (25-49 years)
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Principal Investigator
Joel Moskowitz

Project Identifier
Korean-American Community Health Survey - Core Project (2004-2009)

Funding Source
PRC Program

Project Status
Not active