CDC: Compared to other Pac Islanders, Samoans not as healthy

Ranked highest in diabetes prevalence, hypertension and lower back pain
fili@samoanews.com

Samoans living in the U.S. are less likely to have excellent or very good health compared to Guamanians or Chamorro persons and Native Hawaiians, according to some key findings in a health report released last Friday by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The 99-page report on the ‘Health Conditions and Behaviors of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander persons in the United States’ was based on data from interviews with 11,085 people in 3,212 families in 2014. It's the first national look at the health of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) as part of an effort to get better health data from these populations.

The report is to provide a resource to service providers, policy makers, researchers and teachers, NHPI community members and leaders, and all others interested in the health of the total NHPI population.

Among the results, summarized in the report, is that “Samoan adults were more likely than Native Hawaiian and Guamanian or Chamorro adults to have lower back pain and any physical difficulty, and they were less likely to have a healthy body weight.”

Of further interest is that smoking among the NHPI community members was not significantly different in percentage among each other. This was also the case with NHPI community members that participated in leisure-time aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.

KEY FINDINGS

According to the report, NHPI people in the United States were less likely to have excellent or very good health (61.4%) compared with the overall U.S. population (67.3%), but there were differences in health among NHPI detailed race groups.

For example, Guamanian or Chamorro persons were more likely to have excellent or very good health (66.7%) and Native Hawaiian persons (61.3%) — compared with Samoan persons (57.5%).

The report also states that the prevalence of some selected health conditions differed significantly between Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander adults and among detailed Pacific Islander populations.

Among the examples:

•    Adults who had a healthy body weight: 12.7% among Samoan adults, which was lower than prevalence among Native Hawaiian (27.3%), Guamanian or Chamorro (25.7%), and Other Pacific Islander (21.9%) adults;

•    Adults with lower back pain: 37.0% among Samoan adults, which was significantly higher than prevalence among Native Hawaiian (28.4%), Guamanian or Chamorro (23.6%), and Other Pacific Islander (24.2%) adults;

●   Adults with any physical difficulty: 26.7% among Samoan adults, which was significantly higher than prevalence among Native Hawaiian (15.2%), Guamanian or Chamorro (12.6%), and Other Pacific Islander (18.4%) adults;

The report cites other key findings (Samoa News is focusing on Samoans for this story):

●   The percentage of Samoan persons with excellent or very good health (57.5%) was lower than but not significantly different from the percentages among Other Pacific Islander (60.4%) and Native Hawaiian (61.3%) persons, and lower than the percentage among Guamanian or Chamorro persons (66.7%);

●   The percentage of Samoan adults who had a healthy body weight was 12.7%, which was lower than the percentages among Native Hawaiian (27.3%), Guamanian or Chamorro (25.7%), and Other Pacific Islander (21.9%) adults;

●   Among Samoan adults, the percentage who had hypertension was 38.1%, which was higher than the percentages among Native Hawaiian (27.4%) and Other Pacific Islander (23.9%) adults, and higher than but not significantly different from the percentage among Guamanian or Chamorro adults (30.9%);

●   The prevalence of diabetes was highest among Samoan adults (22.1%), followed by Other Pacific Islander adults (15.8%), Guamanian or Chamorro adults (14.8%), and Native Hawaiian adults (14.2%). On the national level, the percentage of all U.S. adults with diabetes is 8.5%;

●   The percentage of Samoan adults with lower back pain was 37.0%, which was higher than the percentages among Native Hawaiian (28.4%), Guamanian or Chamorro (23.6%), and Other Pacific Islander (24.2%) adults;

●   The percentage of Samoan adults who are currently smoking was 16.0%, which was lower than but not significantly different from the percentage among Native Hawaiian adults (18.2%), similar to the percentage among Guamanian or Chamorro adults (16.1%), and higher than but not significantly different from the percentage among Other Pacific Islander adults (12.9%); and,

●   The percentage of Samoan adults who participated in leisure-time aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities was 25.3%, which was similar to the percentages among Guamanian or Chamorro (25.6%) and Native Hawaiian (26.3%) adults, and higher than but not significantly different from the percentage among Other Pacific Islander adults (18.5%).

Other key findings and more details on the report can be viewed on <www.cdc.gov>

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