In the state of Hawai’i, 53.2% of Native Hawaiian elders were found to be at risk for high blood pressure compared to 44.6% of Caucasian elders (Salvail FR et al, 2003). Of note, in the US general population (all ages), prevalence of hypertension is reported at 28.7% in men and 30.5% in women (National Center for Health Statistics, 2004). Thus, hypertension remains a common health problem among the elderly and Native Hawaiians have a higher prevalence compared to Caucasians.
Among other Pacific Islanders, a 1986 cross-sectional study of urban and rural Tongans (all ages) found the overall prevalence of hypertension to be 8.4% (Finau, Prior, & Salmond, 1986). Among adult Chamorros of all age groups, 43% had been told by a health professional that they had hypertension (Chiem et al., 2006).
- Hypertension is more prevalent among the elderly compared to other age groups and this is also reflected in Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander elderly.
- However, the prevalence of hypertension has been reported to be higher among Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander elders compared to Caucasian elders, although existing data is extremely limited.