Disparities in utilization of preventive health services among Asian young adults in the United States

Yejin Kang, Su Jin Kang, Derrick Gibson, Ana M. Rodriguez, John Prochaska, Sapna Kaul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the favorable health impacts of preventive services use, young adults remain at a higher risk of not using these services compared with older adults. This study seeks to identify barriers to receiving recommended preventive services among Asian young adults compared to other racial/ethnic young adults. Using 2016–2018 National Health Interview Survey data, this study examined barriers to recommended preventive services among non-Hispanic (NH) Asian young adults aged 18–39 years compared with other racial/ethnic groups in the United States (Total = 25,430; NH Asians = 6.3%). General prevention included fasting blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus checkups. We documented information on vaccinations for influenza, pneumonia, tetanus, hepatitis A/B, and female-specific preventive care measures. NH Asian young adults reported blood pressure checkups less often than NH Whites (72.88% vs. 79.92%, p < 0.001). NH Asian young adults were also less likely to report HIV testing than all other racial/ethnic groups (p < 0.001). After controlling for covariates, NH Whites (odds ratio [OR] = 2.00, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.60, 2.50), NH Blacks (OR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.18, 2.02), and other races (OR = 2.40, 95% CI = 1.60, 3.58) were more likely to receive any preventive services than NH Asians. Among those receiving any preventive services, there were no differences between NH Asians and all other racial/ethnic groups in whether they reported receiving relatively more preventive services. Our findings demonstrate that the rates of certain recommended preventive services use were lower among NH Asian young adults. Targeted public health strategies are needed to increase the use of preventive healthcare for racial/ethnic minority young adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107670
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • Asian health
  • HIV screening
  • Health disparities
  • Healthcare disparities
  • Preventive health services
  • Racial/ethnic minorities
  • Vaccination
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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