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Asian American Health: A New Web Site for a Growing Population

Just as special populations have special health needs, they have special health information needs. The National Library of Medicine has created a Web site aimed at the health needs of Asian Americans, one of the fastest growing minority populations (currently 11 million) in the U.S. The site, "Asian American Health," is at

Asian Americans are exceedingly diverse, coming from nearly 50 countries and ethnic groups, each with distinct cultures, traditions, and histories. They speak many languages and dialects.

Although Asian Americans in the United States suffer from many of the same health problems as the population at large, certain diseases predominate. For example, there is a particularly high rate of liver cancer among Asian Americans and lung cancer is their leading cause of cancer death. Vietnamese women's cervical cancer rate is five times higher than Caucasian women.

"There is a wealth of reliable health information in this site that Asian Americans will find useful for themselves and their families," said Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., director of the National Library of Medicine. "The Web allows us to make it available free and with no registration or other strings attached," he added.

Asian American Health is the second Web site that the National Library of Medicine has created for special populations. The first, ArcticHealth, was launched in 2001.