Objectives. We examined the association of racial discrimination and limited English proficiency with health-related quality of life among Asian Americans in California.
Methods. We studied Chinese (n = 2576), Filipino (n = 1426), Japanese (n = 833), Korean (n = 1128), South Asian (n = 822), and Vietnamese (n = 938) respondents to the California Health Interview Survey in 2003 and 2005. We assessed health-related quality of life with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s measures of self-rated health, activity limitation days, and unhealthy days.
Results. Overall, Asians who reported racial discrimination or who had limited English proficiency were more likely to have poor quality of life, after adjustment for demographic characteristics. South Asian participants who reported discrimination had an estimated 14.4 more activity limitation days annually than South Asians who did not report discrimination. Results were similar among other groups. We observed similar but less consistent associations for limited English proficiency.
Conclusions. Racial discrimination, and to a lesser extent limited English proficiency, appear to be key correlates of quality of life among Asian ethnic groups.