Table 1

Characteristics of Asian and white adults in the U.S., NHIS 1997–2008*

1997–19992000–20022003–20052006–2008
AsiansWhitesAsiansWhitesAsiansWhitesAsiansWhites
N2,40963,4902,49859,9292,58757,1123,56238,946
Age (years)
 Mean40.446.140.746.542.047.242.947.5
 ≥65 (%)9.018.48.718.310.218.511.518.7
Female (%)51.650.947.950.750.150.851.950.4
Education (some college or college graduate) (%)68.354.271.656.268.758.272.859.7
Incomes (<$20,000) (%)25.121.717.418.013.916.013.215.9
U.S. born (%)§18.295.617.495.419.195.323.195.5
Current smoking (%)15.424.913.524.112.522.510.222.0
Current alcohol drinking (%)46.366.748.166.643.865.246.766.8
Physically active (%)||25.933.229.634.029.133.630.133.9
BMI (kg/m2)
 Mean23.626.123.826.524.026.824.327.1
 Overweight (%)**38.835.439.835.541.535.842.235.2
 Obese (%)††12.718.714.321.014.222.717.025.1
  • All characteristics of Asians are significantly different from those in whites (P < 0.05), except the proportion of female subjects in 1997–1999, 2003–2005, and 2006–2008 and the proportion of higher education in 2000–2002.

  • *Data are weighted means or proportions, SEs for mean age were <1, for mean BMI were <0.2, and for other variables were <0.03.

  • †Some college or college graduate.

  • ‡Previous-year individuals’ total incomes including hourly wages, salaries, tips, and commissions.

  • §Born in the U.S. (50 states or the District of Columbia) excluding U.S. territories.

  • ||Percent met the recommended leisure-time physical activities: 20 min of vigorous activity three times per week or 30 min of light to moderate activity five times per week.

  • **23 ≤ BMI < 27.5 kg/m2 for Asians, 25 ≤ BMI < 30 kg/m2 for whites.

  • ††BMI ≥27.5 kg/m2 for Asians, BMI ≥30 kg/m2 for whites.