Few sources of health information on dyslipidemia stratified by race and age are available. In the Native Hawaiian Health Research (NHHR) Project, the prevalence of hyperlipidemia, defined as a total cholesterol >200 mg/dL, among a population-based sample of Native Hawaiians in a rural community in Hawai’i was reported at 48% (crude estimates) (The Native Hawaiian Health Research Project, 1994). In another epidemiological study in Western Samoa, Hodge et al. found the rates of dyslipidemia had doubled from 18% in 1978 to 36% in 1991 (Hodge, Dowse, Toelupe, Collins, & Zimmet, 1997).

By comparison, in the U.S during a similar time period, the prevalence of elevated total cholesterol actually decreased between 1976-80 and 1988-94 from 27.8% to 19.7% respectively (National Center for Health Statistics, 2004). A 2006 study found among all age-groups of Chamorros residing in Guam, that 36.4% of participants reported having “high blood cholesterol” (Chiem et al., 2006). Finally, according to the Hawai’i Health Survey, the prevalence of high blood cholesterol was slightly lower at 64.4 per 1,000 population for Native Hawaiians compared to 66.2 per 1,000 for Caucasians (Hawaii Health Survey 2005, Accessed August 22, 2007).



  • Hyperlipidemia (elevated total cholesterol) rates have increased or remained the same among most Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander populations compared to a decrease in prevalence among the general U.S. population.