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School of Public Health


Social and Behavioral Sciences


Background: Perceived interpersonal discrimination while seeking healthcare services is associated with poor physical and mental health. Yet, there is a paucity of research among Asian Americans or its subgroups. This study examined the correlates of reported interpersonal discrimination when seeking health care among a large sample of Asian Indians, the 3rd largest Asian American subgroup in the US, and identify predictors of adverse self-rated physical health, a well-accepted measure of overall health status.

Methods: Cross-sectional survey. Participants comprised of 1824 Asian Indian adults in six states with higher concentration of Asian Indians.

Results: Mean age and years lived in the US was 45.7 ± 12.8 and 16.6 ± 11.1 years respectively. The majority of the respondents was male, immigrants, college graduates, and had access to care. Perceived interpersonal discrimination when seeking health care was reported by a relatively small proportion of the population (7.2 %). However, Asian Indians who reported poor self-rated health were approximately twice as likely to perceived discrimination when seeking care as compared to those in good or excellent health status (OR 1.88; 95 % CI 1.12–3. 14). Poor self-rated health was associated with perceived health care discrimination after controlling for all of the respondent characteristics (OR 1.93; 95 % CI: 1.17–3.19). In addition, Asian Indians who lived for more than 10 years in the U.S. (OR 3.28; 95 % CI: 1.73–6.22) and had chronic illnesses (OR 1.39; 95 % CI: 1.17–1.64) (p < 0.05) were more likely to perceive discrimination when seeking health care. However, older Asian Indians, over the age of 55 years, were less likely to perceive discrimination than those aged 18–34 years Indian American.

Conclusion: Results offers initial support for the hypothesis that Asian Indians experience interpersonal discrimination when seeking health care services and that these experiences may be related to poor self-rated health status.

Source Citation

Misra, R., & Hunte, H. (2016). Perceived discrimination and health outcomes among Asian Indians in the United States. BMC Health Services Research, 16(1).


© 2016 The Author(s). Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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