For Native Hawaiians: lucky you live Hawaii, minus six years

Hawaii Independent Staff

Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders still have shorter life spans than other Hawaii residents and a higher proportion suffer from diabetes, heart disease and obesity. A new study released today by the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine found that Native Hawaiians typically die six years earlier than other populations. This is an improvement from 1970 when the life expectancy of Native Hawaiians was 13 years less than that of other residents.

Life expectancy for Native Hawaiians is 6.2 years lower than the state average, though life expectancy has increased by nearly 12 years since 1950.While much progress has been made to improve the health and quality of life of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders living in Hawaii, their lives are still shorter than whites and Asians. The “big three” killers are diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

Researchers from the John A. Burns School of Medicine presented a landmark, 20-year health study on Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders to an audience of four legislative committees at the state capitol Tuesday.