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chamorro - J Community Health(2010 35:8192 DOI...

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ORIGINAL PAPER Health Indicators of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders in the United States Karen L. Moy James F. Sallis Katrine J. David Published online: 24 October 2009 Ó The Author(s) 2009. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com Abstract This study aimed to describe health indicators and behaviors of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) adults and to compare findings to previous reports on US NHPI and the US population. A sample of N = 100 (56 M, 44 F) NHPI adults aged 40–59 years completed an anonymous questionnaire addressing education and household income, tobacco use, physical activity, fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption, cancer screening and health status. Objective measures of height and weight were taken to calculate body mass index (BMI). The study sample consisted of 49% current smokers and the majority was not meeting guidelines for physical activity (80%) or F&V consumption (99%). Cancer screening rates ranged from 0 to 57% and were higher among females. Mean BMI was 33.9 ± 7.5 kg/m 2 and 95% were overweight or obese. While 36.7% were hypertensive, only 11.1% were taking prescribed medication. Compared to both the general US population and available data for US NHPI, study partici- pants reported higher prevalence of obesity and chronic conditions (hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and angina/CHD) and lower levels of physical activity, F&V consumption and cancer screening rates. Study findings contribute to the limited knowledge regarding health behaviors of US NHPI. Comparisons to US data increase evidence of NHPI health disparities, while comparisons to previous NHPI studies emphasize the magnitude of unhealthy lifestyle behaviors and subsequent adverse health conditions for this particular sample. Further improvements to community outreach and recruitment strategies could successfully encourage high-risk individ- uals to participate in health promotion and behavior intervention studies to improve NHPI health behaviors. Keywords Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders Á Physical activity Á Tobacco Á Cancer screening Á Obesity Introduction Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) represent cultural groups having origins in any of the Pacific Islands in Polynesia, Micronesia or Melanesia [ 1 ]. Due to their relatively small numbers in the US, data for both Asian and Pacific Islander (API) populations, representing over forty diverse cultures, have historically been aggregated into one category [ 2 6 ]. As a group, API were associated with favorable health profiles [ 7 , 8 ] and inadvertently acquired the ‘‘healthy minority’’ label. However, health-related studies, mostly conducted in Hawai’i and the South Pacific, highlight a multitude of health disparities for NHPI, pro- viding evidence of a generally poor health status. Available literature reports typically low level s of physical activity [ 9 16 ], poor diets (high in fat, low in fruits and vegetables (F&V) [ 12 , 17 , 18 ] high tobacco use (30.9%) [ 19 ], high rates of overweight and obesity [ 12 , 13 , 15 , 18 , 20 23 ], and K. L. Moy ( & )
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