May 3, 2013

Hawai’i Journal of Medicine and Public Health – Guest Editors’ Message

Joseph Keawe’aimoku Kaholokula, PhD and Nia Aitaoto, MPH, MS

Hawai’i Journal of Medicine & Public Health

The six US-affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) are comprised of American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), and the Republic of Palau.1 These Pacific Island Nations are experiencing a public health crisis because of the alarmingly high rates of non-communicable diseases (NCD), such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.2 NCD are a pandemic in USAPI, with the prevalence of overweight and obesity exceeding 90% and diabetes approaching 50% in some areas. Despite these alarming statistics, no formal systematic assessment has been completed in the USAPI to ascertain the extent of the NCD pandemic and the public health and medical systems’ capacity to deal with this crisis — until now.

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