The September 9 edition of Honolulu Advertiser has a sobering article about the geriatric population in Hawaii. Basically, it is much smaller than expected because of the prevalence of Diabetes and the high mortality rate associated with this.
“Native Hawaiians have the highest diabetes mortality rate of any ethnic group in the state. 47 deaths per 100,000 population. That compares with 7 for whites, 19 for Japanese, 22 for Filipinos and 32 for ‘others’.”
Dr. Wilfred Fugimoto, a diabetes expert and retired endocrinologist, points out the behavioral changes this population has experienced. “Pictures from the old days show Hawaiians were all pretty lean and muscular, and now there is increasing evidence of being overweight. The lifestyle of the Pacific people has changed. They don’t have to fish or farm. Walking long distances is not part of their usual lifestyle any more.”
For me, this is another example of the importance of paying attention to the basics of health and wellness. Nutrition and exercise are so important.