CDC survey reveals poor Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander health

The National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its survey on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) Health.

The survey was conducted in 2014 and collected information from over 11,000 people. It was the first federal survey to exclusively measure the health of the NHPI population. The results analyze the total NHPI population, single- and multiple-race NHPI population, and detailed NPHI race groups with each other, the total US population, and other federal race groups.

Compared to the US total, the total NHPI population had worse health outcomes in 35 of 61 categories measuring health conditions and behaviors.

Only 61.4 percent of NHPI people have excellent or very good health, compared to 67.3 percent for the overall US population. Single-race NHPI people have a lower chance, with only 59.3 percent of the population reporting excellent or very good health. Samoans have the lowest rate with 57.5 percent.

NHPI population statistics was previous included in the Asian or Pacific Islander race category, but was separated into two categories in 1997. But there had been limited reliable data on NHPI health statistics until the CDC’s survey.

NHPI adults consistently have worse health outcomes compared to single-race Asians. They are more likely to have experienced serious psychological distress in the past 30 days. They are also more likely to have asthma or any cancer. Additionally, NHPI adults are more likely to have lower back pain, smoke, and have at least one heavy drinking day in the past year.

Health statistics vary significantly among detailed NHPI race categories.

Compared to other Pacific Islanders, Native Hawaiians are more likely to have

  • Excellent or very good health
  • Healthy weight
  • Serious psychological distress
  • Any heart disease
  • Ever or still have asthma (adults and children)
  • Hay fever
  • Sinusitis
  • Any cancer
  • Ulcers
  • Liver disease
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic joint symptoms
  • Childhood respiratory allergies
  • Migraines
  • Hearing trouble
  • Vision trouble
  • Absence of all natural teeth
  • Childhood ADHD
  • Currently or formerly smoked
  • Have at least one heavy drinking day