Objective. This study examines the health status and health services access and utilization characteristics of US Chinese, Asian Indian, Filipino, other Asian/Pacific Islander (API), and non-Hispanic white children by using nationally representative data.

Methods. We analyzed the aggregated data file from the National Health Interview Survey from 1997 to 2000 including 334 Chinese, 287 Asian Indian, 292 Filipino, 696 “other API,” and 29 016 non-Hispanic white children <18 years old. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between Asian ethnicities and dependent variables including components of health status, health services access, and utilization.

Results. Logistic regression reveals that all Asian American children were less likely to miss school because of illness or injury or have learning disabilities compared with non-Hispanic whites. Other APIs were less likely to be taking prescription medication for at least 3 months, and Asian Indian children were half as likely to have chronic conditions. Chinese, Filipino, and other API children were more likely to be without contact with a health professional within the past 12 months. Citizenship/nativity status, maternal education attainment, and poverty status were all significant independent risk factors for health care access and utilization.

Conclusions. Asian ethnicities and being foreign-born are generally associated with more favorable health status measures such as school absence, learning disability, use of prescription medications, and chronic conditions. However, these attributes are negatively associated with health care access and utilization, suggesting the need for outreach to Asian immigrant populations to educate them on accessing the US health care system.

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