The CHANGE Framework

Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness

All people in Hawaii deserve to be happy, healthy, and connected across their communities and throughout their lives.

People’s physical, mental, and social health can greatly affect their well-being in other realms. Illness can lead to missed days of work and school; mental health challenges can keep some from being hired or housed. Conversely, external factors such as poverty, low quality air and water, and lack of access to opportunity can cause ill health and social isolation.

While Hawaii is routinely ranked among the nation’s highest for health insurance coverage, accessible and affordable health care, and overall health outcomes, these positive averages often mask the disparities that occur by virtue of income, neighborhood, and population group.

Hawaii Business Change Reports

Hawaii Business Magazine

Health & Wellness

Read the April edition of the Hawaii Business Magazine's Change Reports on Health & Wellness in our state.

Indicator: Chronic Diseases and Deaths
The Hawaii State Department of Health and Hawaii Data Warehouse track 42 categories of health, including progress toward Healthy People 2020 goals in Hawaii Health Matters. Of note in Hawaii, hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a chronic disease that contributes to multiple health problems and increased risk of death including heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.

Another issue facing Hawaii is the shortage of medical specialists statewide, which measures more than 25% in these areas: Infectious Disease, Colorectal Surgery, Pathology, General Surgery, Pulmonology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Family Medicine, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Rheumatology, Cardiology, Hematology/Oncology, and the Pediatric subspecialties of Endocrinology, Cardiology, Neurology, Hematology/Oncology and Gastroenterology.

Change Framework Graph 08

Source: https://www.hawaii.edu/offices/eaur/govrel/reports/2016/act18-sslh2009_2016_physician-workforce_annual-report.pdf

Data point

  • Almost a third of Hawaii’s population (32%) has high blood pressure – higher than the U.S. rate of 31%.

Change Framework Graph 09

Source: http://www.hawaiihealthmatters.org/indicators/index/view?indicatorId=1249

Although high blood pressure occurs in all age and ethnicities, some groups experience significantly higher rates of hypertension such as the elderly and people of Japanese ancestry. Only 60% of Hawaii residents with high blood pressure have it under control.

Efforts underway

Related sources

Indicator: Life Expectancy
Overall life expectancy in Hawaii in 2010 was 82.3 years, 3.6 years higher than the national average for the total U.S. population, though differences in ethnic groups and zip codes underscore disparities in overall health and life expectancy.

A recent University of Hawaii study found differences in life expectancies across ethnic groups in Hawaii with Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino people living longer on average than whites and Native Hawaiians. There is a 10-year gap between the longest-living Chinese and the shortest-living Native Hawaiians.

Where people live can also affect both overall health and life expectancy. Many chronic diseases disproportionately affect disadvantaged communities and poorer and rural communities often have less access to health services, especially high-quality specialty care.

Change Framework Graph 10

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2018/images/18_0035_01_large.jpg

Although average life expectancy in Hawaii is longer than the U.S. average, there is more than a 10-year difference across the state and even within islands. There are also large disparities in health care access and health outcomes in Hawaii by geography, income, and ethnicity. Zip codes of greatest need correlate with poorest health outcomes.

Efforts underway

Related sources

Indicator: Mental and Emotional Health
Mental and emotional health can be more challenging to diagnose, treat, and manage than physical health, preventing many people from getting appropriate services and interventions. The stigma, lack of diagnosis, and difficult access have long-term effects on one’s education, employment, social connections, and overall well-being.

Data point

  • On average, one person dies from suicide every two days in the state.

Change Framework Graph 11

Source: Hawaii Suicide Fact Sheet

The number and rates of suicide have been increasing in Hawaii over the past 15 years, especially on the Neighbor Islands.

Efforts underway

Related sources

Indicator: Social Capital
The extent and quality of one’s social bonds have been found to correlate with health behaviors and outcomes, life expectancy, and success in school and work. Hawaii residents leverage this capital every day and especially in an emergency or disaster.

Data point

  • Hawaii ranks 31st out of 50 U.S. states for overall social capital and social supports, which includes having close friends, neighbors helping each other, and receiving emotional support from others.

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Hawaii lost more than 13,000 residents than it gained to migration in 2017. Hawaii’s high in/out-migration, ethnic diversity, and 20% foreign-born residents make it difficult for some people and communities to build and access social capital and networks. Hawaii’s aloha spirit is an important community asset, but is not experienced equally across the state.

Current Efforts Underway

Related Sources

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