Cardiovascular Disease Disparities in Native Hawaiians
Aluli NE, Reyes PW, Tsark J
Journal of the Cardiometabolic Syndrome
Although Hawaii boasts relatively low rates of death from heart disease and stroke, past data suggest that Native Hawaiians bear a disproportionate burden of mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD). This study examined 2005-2006 data on CVD mortality and risk factors to see if disparities experienced historically by Native Hawaiians have continued, increased, or been reduced. Existing data were reviewed related to CVD and risk factors for Native Hawaiians in Hawaii and compared with statewide and US rates. These data show that Native Hawaiians are experiencing continuing and perhaps growing disparities in CVD mortality rates and risk factor prevalence. Nevertheless, increased support for enlightened social policy and community-directed problem solving can help reduce CVD health disparities experienced by Native Hawaiians. Future research should be directed at better delineation of the various components of cardiometabolic risk and culturally sensitive, and educationally appropriate approaches to CVD risk reduction.