226826 Addressing chronic disease risk from a family health history perspective among Utah Pacific Islanders

Monday, November 8, 2010

O. Fahina Tavake-Pasi , National Tongan American Society, Salt Lake City, UT
The Pacific Islander population has increased dramatically in the western U.S. and especially in Utah. The disproportionate prevalence of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and its risk factors, such as obesity, in this population is well known. Over one in 10 (10.5%) Utah Pacific Islander adults has been diagnosed with diabetes; a rate almost twice as high as the state prevalence (5.3%). Three fourths (74.8%) of Utah Pacific Islander adults are overweight or obese. The increase of chronic diseases encouraged the idea of addressing these health problems from a genetic perspective as the increasing Pacific Islander population will substantially impact health care quality, delivery, and methods of preventing chronic diseases not only in Utah but throughout the nation. The National Tongan American Society, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, has developed grassroots community-based programs to assist Pacific Islanders in addressing health disparities by lowering inherited disease risks through understanding their family health history. One of these programs has been the Community Dialogues about Genetics and Health. This program has been successful and meaningful as, with the assistance of the University of Utah Genetic Science Learning Center, the Dialogues are developed within the community itself and designed to address the particular challenges faced by its members. Qualitative analysis, based on input from participants, has indicated an increased understanding, sense of self-efficacy, and self-reported ability to take steps to reduce their inherited risk. Feedback is continually used to assess the merits and gaps in the program and to enhance the overall effectiveness.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the role family health history plays in the excess risk of diabetes among Utah Pacific Islanders. Describe effective techniques to help Pacific Islanders combat their inherited risk for diabetes. Discuss the importance of culturally specific instruction in disease prevention education.

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Genetics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the Executive Director of the National Tongan American Society (NTAS). I planned and am conducting the NTAS Community Dialogues About Genetics and Health project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.