Asian American Medical Hazard: Stroke

My doctor has always considered my high blood pressure to be a significant concern, and she makes sure I am managing it effectively.  After thinking about the Asian Americans that I know who have had a stroke and this recent report and video, I should really be thankful.  Preliminary results from an analysis of 1.7 million stroke cases between 2004 and 2016 reveal that Asian Americans are more likely to have more severe ischemic strokes and worse outcomes than whites.   In addition, Asian Americans studied were less likely to receive clot busting stroke treatment, although this difference seems to diminish during the studied time period. Study lead author Dr. Sarah Song, who revealed the initial results at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, said:

“Asian Americans may have a distinctive pathophysiologic profile of ischemic stroke than whites.   Regardless, this study highlights the need for more focused research, improved stroke prevention and possibly different treatment strategies for Asian Americans.”

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Asian Squat Update: Why it’s good for you and why it’s going away

“A guru once told me that the problem with the West is they don’t squat.” – Rosie Spinks

One of 8Asians’ most popular articles continues to be Koji Sakai’s article on the “Asian” Squat

We recently got a comment from one of our readers on how the Asian Squat seems to be a way to help with a particular health problem but that the reader could not readily achieve the position.  Shortly after that, I saw this piece by Rosie Spinks about how the “Asian Squat” can be good for people’s health, but sadly, is going away with certain people in Asia.

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Sacramento Area Asian Americans arming themselves during Crime Wave

While the wave of robberies targeting Asian Americans in the Sacramento area has declined in some neighborhoods like Oak Park, where police have concentrated resources, crime and fear have increased in other Asian neighborhoods like Meadowview, Fruitridge, and Pocket, to the point where Asian Americans are arming themselvesPolice have arrested more than 50 in connection with the targeted robberies (up from 20 reported in October 2016), but the problems have continued.  “Part of the issue is the language barrier and not having the right tools to contact Police,” said Sgt Bryce Heinlein.   “They’re coming home and being targeted as they’re getting out of their cars, being approached from behind normally, and the suspects are armed.”   Elderly people are more likely to be targets, reports John Fan, a detective with Sacramento’s Central division.

Sacramento police have not revealed many details about the arrested suspects, but say that most are young men in their teens and their twenties and are of various racial backgrounds.   Almost all are armed during the robberies. In this article where police debriefed the community and gave pointers on avoiding and reporting crimes, police said that the arrested robbers claim that attacks weren’t racially motivated but that “Asians people have money.”

Manicurists, Casino Workers, and Medical Scientists: A Glimpse into heavily Asian American Jobs

More than half of all American “personal appearance workers” (including manicurists and pedicurist) are Asian American, while more than a fourth of all casino workers are Asian American.  A little more than a fifth of all computer and mathematical area workers are Asian American.   While some of these facts are surprising and others are not, all are revealed in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report on jobs and ethnicity for 2016, also summarized nicely in this article from Bloomberg.    Above, I show some of what I consider highlights of the data, shown against the percentage of Asian Americans in the work force (6.1%) as a way provide some context.

As I mentioned, some of the stats are not surprising.  There are a lot of Asian Americans in the manicure/pedicure salon business, as we have talked about in the past.  No one should be surprised by the large amount of Asian Americans in STEM professions.  Some of the other stats are more unusual.  Indian Americans have concentrated, for various reasons, in managing hotels and motels and driving taxicabs.  Many Asians and Asian Americans like to gamble, so casinos and many of the local card rooms in our area hire Asians Americans to provide services.  A significant number of Asians have moved to the Las Vegas area to work in the casinos and find cheaper housing – enough to support two 99 Ranch markets.

The Bloomberg article has interesting numbers on other ethnic groups.  Almost 40% of all barbers are African American.  Almost two thirds of dry wall installers are Hispanic.  One thing not highlighted in the Bloomberg article is the opposite – what jobs ethnic groups don’t do.  I looked at the BLS data, and there are practically zero Asian American loggers!  Not surprising.

One take away from this data is that along with great cultural differences, Asian Americans have also have large differences in the jobs and the income that Asian Americans families take in.  Being a nail salon worker averages $26,220 a year compared to a medical scientist averaging $80,530.  Note that there are more than twice as many nail salon type workers than medical scientists.  It would be interesting to see how different categories of Asian Americans fare in the different categories, but that data doesn’t seem to be available.

Filipino American Downward Mobility and other Asian American Data Points from Pew Research

Filipino American Data based on data compiled by the Pew Research Center

After he graduated from high school this year, Number Two Son mentioned to me that one conversation he has continually had with a close Filipino American friend regards how few of their Filipino American peers were ambitious with their college choices.  Their levels of achievement and college choices seemed much low, especially compared to other Asian American students at their Silicon Valley high school and despite that many of their parents were well educated.  While I personally could see some examples, without real data, it was hard to say whether the kids he saw were just cherry picked examples within a self-selected group in an area heavily obsessed with education.  A Pew Research Center compilation of Asian American data shows that Filipino Americans are indeed downward mobile from the initial immigrant generation (data shown above).  This compilation should be useful to people who want to make data driven conclusions about Asian Americans.

The Pew Research Center has conveniently disaggregated data nicely into specific facts sheets for specific Asian American groups.  A blog post looked at the aggregate data, and some of the findings surprised me – there are more than 20 million of us now and growing.   Other interesting facts – Asian Americans are 11.3% of illegal immigrants, with the top country of origin being India (not what I expected).  Asian Americans live in a multi-generational household more frequently than the general population (been there).

The data that shows that Filipino Americans are downward mobile doesn’t explain WHY that is the case.  I looked up some work in that area and found Susan S. Kim’s Ph.D thesis comparing Korean American and Filipino American youth.  The thesis concludes that Korean American communities have education institutions that encourage and support education much more heavily, and that the rapid acculturation that Filipino Americans experience, especially given the colonial history of the Philippines, doesn’t necessarily contribute to better performance.  This makes a lot of sense to me.  Also, I find that Filipinos, like many Americans, buy into the myth that academic performance in things like math is much more from innate abilities rather than hard work.  “Such bullshit!” is Number Two Son’s comment on that myth.

While I find disaggregated data to be very useful, others find the mandated collection of disaggregated data to be objectionable.     Other studies looking at Filipino American downward mobility are here and here (focusing on San Diego), and Susan Kim’s thesis contains many more references.

Prepared Asian American Hiker helps the stranded in Eagle Creek Fire

While we have been hearing over the years about how how Asian Americans don’t hike or visit national parks, it’s great to hear about Asian Americans who do hike.  In this story about the the Eagle Creek fire, a hiker talks about an Asian American named Emily who unlike most of the hikers in the area, was extremely well prepared and helped many of the more than 140 hikers who were cutoff from easy escape by the fire.  They had to stay overnight and embark on a 14 mile route to escape the flames.  Says stranded hiker Merribeth Midtlyng:

“She was an Asian gal named Emily, just six years in the country, and she’d read the book ‘Wild’ and knew all the things to bring on a hike,” Midtlyng said. “She had a headlamp, food, shelter and water purifier and was so helpful to a lot of people, helping them get safe water to drink.”

I saw the movie Wild, but I don’t think that I could have helped anyone if I was there.  The trail in the movie ends at the Bridge of the Gods across the Columbia river, and the fire started by some moron with fireworks is around that area.  Some of the area near Multnomah Falls burned but is considered mostly unscathed.  I visited the area a few years ago and found it strikingly beautiful.  With the current hurricane disasters, the fires choking the Pacific Northwest are going unnoticed by many.

We have written a number of articles about how Asian Americans actually do hike.  It’s good that “Emily” also likes to both read and hike, which benefited of some of those trap by the awful fire.

Top 5 Asian American TV Series: First half of 2017

Top 5 Broadcast or Cable TV Series by Ethnic Group from USA Today Analysis

So what do Asian Americans watch on TV?  USA Today analyzed Nielsen data for most of the first half of 2017 and came up with the data shown above.  I was personally was surprised that it was so divergent compared to other major American ethnic groups.  America’s Got Talent as the most popular Asian American show?  Really?  Why so different?

The article mentions possible causes for the differences, such as Asian Americans averaging less than 15 hours a TV viewing a week compared to African Americans who averaged 44 hours.  I wonder about the effects of cord cutting and online only shows on Amazon Prime or Netflix.  My kids and I hardly watch ever TV series, cable or broadcast, with TV watching usually restricted to sports and for me, Game of Thrones.   The Daughter in particular likes a few online only shows.  Since I couldn’t find the actual data from Nielsen that went into this, it’s really hard to say for sure.

That there are differences is revealing in itself, saying that ethnic groups in the US really do have differences in preferences and tastes. I would have like to seen more data, particularly on the viewing hours.  44 hours vs 15 hours is a vast difference.  It would be interesting to see it broken down by income levels – do wealthy people watch as much TV and the same shows as middle class or poor Americans?   I suspect that advertisers have already done that kind of study.

8Books Review: “Trespassers?: Asian Americans and the Battle for Suburbia”

Because I had grown up in neighboring Newark and then lived in Fremont California for many years before moving to San Jose, I was intensely curious to read what Trespassers? Asian Americans and the Battle for Suburbia by Willow S. Lung-Amam had to say about Asian Americans life in suburban Fremont.  Would it present anything that I didn’t know already? After reading the book, I was surprised at how much was new to me – primarily the amount of resistance Fremont’s Asian American community encountered when it starting asserting itself in areas ranging from education to shopping centers to housing.

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Ben Nguyen should move up the UFC Flyweight ranks with 49 second submission of Tim Elliott

Ben “Ben 10” Nguyen will most likely move up the UFC Flyweight ranks with his 49 second submission of #9 ranked Tim Elliott at UFC Fight Night:  Lewis vs. Hunt.   #12 ranked flyweight Nguyen was scheduled to fight #2 ranked Joseph Benavidez, but after Benavidez pulled out of the match with an injury, Ultimate Fighter winner #8 ranked Tin Elliott became his new opponent.  Nguyen stunned Elliott with a head kick and a knee, and when Elliott threw him with a head and arm throw, Nguyen took his back and submitted him.  The head and arm throw is a risky move in MMA, as it exposes the thrower’s back.  Michelle Waterson used it successfully in her win over Paige VanZant, but against Rose Namajunas, she ended getting her back taken in a similar fashion to Elliott.  “Ben 10” received a performance bonus for his quick and vicious work.

At the end of the match, Nguyen ask the crowd if they thought that the fight was boring.  He was referring to thoughts by the UFC to get rid of the flyweight division as it did not seem to be popular, despite division champion Demetrious Johnson being ranked as the best pound for pound fighter.  I hope that they don’t get rid of the division, especially as Ben Nguyen is gaining prominence not just for beating up a tattooed bully but also winning 4 out 5 matches in the Octagon.

Jeremy Lin on De-masculinization and being “Deceptively Athletic”

While John Wall is one of the fastest point guards in the NBA and is acknowledged for his athleticism, there is another point guard that is almost as fast whose athleticism isn’t as highly regarded.  In the above video that I learned about from this article, Jeremy Lin comments that when he came into the league, his speed numbers were almost as fast as John Wall’s.    John Wall was considered “athletic” but he was merely “deceptively athletic.”  He goes on to talk about Asian American masculinity and “yellow fever.”  While we have talked about Asian American masculinity before, these are not subjects Lin often talks about, and it’s interesting to hear it from a high profile Asian American male.

You may be wondering, is this real news that Lin is citing, about being called “deceptively athletic?”  I did find the actual media reference here, where former head coach and commentator Jeff Van Gundy calls him that during the Linsanity period.  In addition, while the Slam Online story starts the video when Jeremy Lin speaks, the first part of the whole video is some commentary by Kevin Kreider, who took the video and posted it.  Kreider is a personal trainer and former model.

Asian Americans are driving up Jerky’s Popularity

Of the many areas where Asian Americans affect American life, the last place I expected to see an influence is with jerky.  Jerky has never been a favorite of mine (it’s okay), so I was surprised to read that Asian Americans are driving up the popularity of jerky and other meat snacks.   In the Nielsen Homescan report that is the source of that article, Nielsen claims that meat snacks are now the biggest snack spend per trip when people go out and shop.     I really should not have been surprised, for a number of reasons.

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Princeton University Files Suit to Block Release of Admissions Files

Like a number of other Ivy League and other colleges, Princeton University has been sued by organizations charging that Princeton has been discriminating against Asians.  Even Princeton’s own professors have pointed out discrepancies in test scores between white and Asian applicants in the past.  While Princeton was cleared in the case, Students for Fair Admissions has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for Princeton materials in the case.  Princeton has filed suit to block the request, citing trade secret law.

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