Online Program

Prevalence of hypertension and diabetes among Samoans and Tongans in California: Results from the Pacific Islander Health Study

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Sela V. Panapasa, PhD, Institute for Social Research (ISR), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
James Jackson, PhD, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Steven Heeringa, PhD, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
David R. Williams, PhD, MPH, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, African and African American Studies, and Sociology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
James W. McNally, PhD, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Background/Significance: Little is known about the long term health of Pacific Islander immigrants and migrants in the United States. While some studies such as the NHIS and the CHIS have made inroads in including Asian population in representative surveys, disaggregated data on PI populations continues to lag making the systematic study of PI health impossible.

Objective/Purpose: To provide results from a representative survey of the health of US Samoan and Tongan respondents and to assess the prevalence and correlates of hypertension and diabetes as measured among these islander respondents.

Methods: The presentation uses the Pacific Islander Health Study, a cross-sectional, face-to-face interview administered in 2012 for a random sample of Samoan and Tongan households from communities in Los Angeles County and San Mateo County, California. From 300 households, a total of 239 adults aged 18 to 92 years were interviewed with an overall response rate of 80 percent. Pacific Islander health was measured using questionnaire instruments that allow direct comparisons to national and state level surveys, specifically the NHIS and the CHIS. The main outcome measures examine hypertension and diabetes which are common among these populations. Descriptive statistics and prevalence rates are presented. Bivariate odds ratios are calculated for outcomes of the selected chronic diseases.

Results: Participants reported high rates of these diseases when compared to county, state and national populations. Samoan and Tongan ethnic differences are also present.

Discussion/Conclusions: These findings are the first to systematically confirm the assumed high rates of hypertension and diabetes among US Samoans and Tongans. The findings emphasize the importance of disaggregated API data to accurately understand and measure the health conditions of US Pacific Islanders. The research methods employed can apply to other small populations as well. The findings warrant the collection of evidence-based information on other US Pacific Islander populations.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess the importance of API data disaggregation and evidence-based research. Describe the prevalence of US Samoan and Tongan chronic illness. Discuss research methods for small hard-to-reach populations.

Keyword(s): Minority Health, Diabetes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal of multiple federally funded grants focusing on health disparities of vulnerable populations. Among my scientific interests has been the development of research methods to measure the health of Pacific Islander adult and adolescent populations.
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.