Los Angeles-based nonprofit Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California (APIDC) is reaching out to Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) to engage those communities in a national research program.

APIDC will be attending the Mid-Autumn Festival at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut on the weekend of Sept. 30-Oct. 1 and the Artesia International Street and Diversity Fair in Artesia on Saturday, Oct. 7, to provide information about the research program. Attendance at more community events in Southern California and other states is planned.

For the third year in a row, APIDC has been selected by the Asian Health Coalition to join other community-based organizations and national organizations to form the AANHPI Engagement and Recruitment Core (ARC).

The All of Us Research Program is an effort by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to gather health-related data from one million or more people living in the U.S., building one of the most diverse biomedical databases in history. Information gathered will be utilized to develop and uncover new and targeted ways to treat and prevent disease.

The Chicago-based Asian Health Coalition provides training, technical support and collaborative efforts to drive engagement and participation within AANHPI communities across the country.

Globally, Asians make up the majority of the population but only account for 16% of all biomedical research participants. In the U.S., this proportion is smaller with about 2% of participants in biomedical research being AANHPI, despite being one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the U.S.

“The lack of representation of AANHPIs in biomedical research can be troubling when it comes to treatment development. A widely successful heart drug clopidogrel (Plavix) was heavily marketed in Hawaii, despite being ineffective for 45% of Asians and 77% of Pacific Islanders,” said a spokesperson for APIDC.

“Increasing representation of AANHPIs in biomedical research can ensure all populations are taken into account when it comes to developing medical treatment.”

Through the All of Us Research Program, researchers will use data collected to learn more about how these individual differences can influence health and disease. Also, participants in the program may be able to learn more about their own health and contribute to an effort that may advance the health of generations to come.  

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