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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4205.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 2:30 PM

Abstract #104426

Overweight/obesity and self-reported general health: Are Polynesians at higher risk in Hawaii?

Margaret H. Ochner, MPH1, Florentina Reyes-Salvail, MSc2, E.S. Ford, MD3, and Ruth Jiles, PhD3. (1) John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, 1717 Mott-Smith Drive, #1802, Honolulu, HI 96822, 3233856123, mochner@hawaii.edu, (2) Hawaii State Department of Health, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 1250 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, (3) Behavioral Surveillance Branch/DACH/NCCDPHP, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy. NE, Mailstop K-66, Atlanta, GA 30341

Overweight and obese individuals have documented poorer health-related quality of life than those with a normal body mass index in the general US population. The objectives of this study were to examine the relationship between fair/poor general health status among overweight and obese Polynesian individuals compared to overweight and obese individuals of all other races in Hawaii and also to look at this relationship by gender. Using pooled data from the 2001-2003 Hawaii Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the authors examined predictors of fair/poor health status with logistic regression. Bivariate analyses indicated that Polynesians (n=2,143) were significantly more obese than non-Polynesians (38% vs. 13%; p<0.05). After age-adjustment these overweight Polynesians were more likely than other overweight individuals to report having fair/poor health status (14% vs. 10%; p<0.05). Logistic regression indicated that participants who were older, obese, diabetic, physically inactive, less educated, and current smokers had elevated odds of reporting fair/poor health. Among Polynesians, respondents who were diabetic (OR 3.97; 95% CI 2.58-6.12), physically inactive (OR 1.72; 95% CI 1.18-2.05), and less educated (less than HS, OR 3.77; 95% CI 1.95-7.30) had elevated odds of reporting fair/poor health. Despite Polynesians being significantly more obese than the rest of the population, their weight, age, and smoking status did not elevate their odds for fair/poor health unlike non-Polynesians. These findings show a major health risk among an underserved and under-recognized Polynesian population in the US. Culturally-specific health interventions should target this group in Hawaii and the rest of the US.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Obesity, Hawaiian Natives

Related Web page: www.cdc.gov/brfss

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Advancing the Health of Pacific Islanders: An Underrecognized Community in the U.S.

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA