Hawaii life expectancies examined in research study
The life expectancy at birth in Hawaiʻi in 2010 was 82.4 years, 3.7 years higher than the national average for the total U.S. population (78.7 years), according to a study by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researchers Yan Yan Wu, Kathryn Braun and Lynne Wilkens. Hawaiʻi 2010 life expectancy was also higher than for U.S.-dwelling Caucasians (78.9) and African Americans (75.1).
The researchers' article, "Life Expectancies in Hawaiʻi: A Multi-ethnic Analysis of 2010 Life Tables," was published in the January 2017 issue of the Hawaiʻi Journal of Medicine and Public Health.
Life expectancy at birth in Hawaiʻi has increased consistently over the years. It was 69.5 years in 1950, and it was 82.4 years in 2010. However, longevity disparities seen in past decades continue to persist between the longest-living groups—Japanese and Chinese—and the shortest-living group—Native Hawaiians—with a gap of approximately 10 years. Further, females lived 6 years longer than males on average.
Racial/ethnic disparities in longevity can be partially explained by differences in socioeconomic status, health behaviors, health-care access, adverse childhood events and racism. Native Hawaiians continue to have the shortest life expectancy of the ethnic groups examined, requiring expanded efforts to address Native Hawaiian health across the life course. The researchers findings also support more ethnic-specific research to understand the health-care needs and utilization patterns of each group.
Wu Y, Braun K, Onaka AT, Horiuchi BY, Tottori CJ, Wilkens L. Life Expectancies in Hawai'i: A Multi-ethnic Analysis of 2010 Life Tables. Hawai'i Journal of Medicine & Public Health. 2017;76(1):9-14.