Abstract P286: Disparities in Meeting Physical Activity Guidelines in Asian Americans in Los Angeles and in New York City
Introduction: Physical activity (PA) levels in Asian American (AA) adults appear to be lower than other racial/ethnic groups, but have only been described in a few studies. New York City and Los Angeles County together consist of 10% of the country’s AA population. Due to physical and geographic differences, LA and NYC provide differing opportunities for PA. These differences provide a natural experimental design to elucidate whether the observed disparity in AAs for meeting PA guidelines is similar and thus potentially driven by cultural norms that supersede structural differences, or dissimilar across the two areas.
Hypothesis: To test the hypothesis that AAs are less likely to meet PA guidelines than US-born whites regardless of location of residence.
Methods: The LA County Health Survey (2011) and the NYC Community Health Survey (2010, 2012) are cross-sectional, telephone surveys (LA: n=8,036; NYC: n=17,462). The 2008 PA Guidelines of America for aerobic activity recommend that adults should perform 2.5 hours/week of moderate-intensity, 75 minutes/week of vigorous-intensity PA, or an equivalent combination. The primary outcome of meeting PA guidelines was calculated using self-reported moderate or vigorous minutes/week. Descriptive statistics were used to estimate the prevalence of AAs in total and by subgroup (i.e., Chinese, Asian Indian, etc.) meeting PAGA recommendations for exercise compared to US-born whites. Multivariable regression models adjusting for age, sex, poverty level, and education were run. All data were weighted to be representative of their respective geographies, and analyzed in SUDAAN 10.0.
Results: The prevalence of meeting PA guidelines was similar between LA and NYC overall (LA: 61.8; NYC: 57.9). In both areas, AAs were less likely than U.S.-born whites to meet guidelines, with the observed disparity larger in NYC than in LA (LA Asians: 55.8 [51.2-60.2]; LA US-born whites: 65.7 [63.4-67.9]; NYC Asians: 42.7, [39.2-46.3]; NYC US-born whites: 62.3 [60.3-64.3]). The Asian/US-born white disparity persisted after adjustment for covariates (LA: OR 0.61 [0.49, 0.76]; NYC: OR 0.56 [0.46, 0.68]). By Asian subgroup, the lowest prevalence of meeting guidelines was observed in Chinese Americans (LA: 52.2; NYC: 29.8).
Conclusions: AAs were less likely to meet PA guidelines compared to US-born whites in both LA and NYC, areas that provide different structural opportunities for PA. Given the consistency of results across these locations, cultural and ethnic norms are implicated as a potential explanation for these differences. The low prevalence of meeting PA guidelines in Chinese Americans may be driving these effects, given they comprise the largest proportion of AAs in both places (LA: 36.5; NYC: 67.1). In conclusion, future work should introduce opportunities for PA in AA communities, with a targeted focus on Chinese Americans using culturally tailored strategies.
Author Disclosures: S.S. Yi: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.