Study: Native Hawaiians have shorter life expectancy vs. other ethnicities in the state
A new study by researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa shows Native Hawaiians have a shorter life expectancy than other ethnic populations in the state.
Findings published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health shows Hawaiians also spend fewer years in good health, and overall, Hawaii has the longest life expectancy in the country.
By race in Hawaii -- Chinese Americans top the list, followed by Japanese, Filipino then Caucasians.
Factors include socioeconomic status, health care, diet, physical activity and genetics.
Collectively, the study shows Hawaiians have the lowest level of educational attainment and household income, and the highest rates of heart disease, obesity and certain types of cancer.
"Differences in life expectancy are determined by many things but primarily by socioeconomic status," study co-author Dr. Kathryn Braun explained.
She said this is figure is deeply-rooted in disenfranchisement, adding "Fewer opportunities for education, fewer opportunities for work, fewer opportunities for health insurance, fewer opportunities for housing, therefore lower life expectancy."
Looking ahead, she believes the best way to immediately improve this would be to raise the minimum wage, citing that as a vehicle to achieve better access to healthcare.