Younger and Sicker: Comparing Micronesians to Other Ethnicities in Hawaii

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Abstract

Objectives

We compared the age at admission and the severity of illness of hospitalized Micronesians with 3 other racial/ethnic groups in Hawaii.

Methods

With Hawaii Health Information Corporation inpatient data, we determined the age at admission and the severity of illness for 162 152 adult, non-pregnancy-related hospital discharges in Hawaii from 2010 to 2012. We performed multivariable linear regression analyses within major disease categories by racial/ethnic group. We created disease categories with all patient refined-diagnosis related groups.

Results

Hospitalized Micronesians were significantly younger at admission than were comparison racial/ethnic groups across all patient refined-diagnosis related group categories. The severity of illness for Micronesians was significantly higher than was that of all comparison racial/ethnic groups for cardiac and infectious diseases, higher than was that of Whites and Japanese for cancer and endocrine hospitalizations, and higher than was that of Native Hawaiians for substance abuse hospitalizations.

Conclusions

Micronesians were hospitalized significantly younger and often sicker than were comparison populations. Our results will be useful to researchers, state governments, and hospitals, providers, and health systems for this vulnerable group.

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