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Hawaii J Med Public Health. 2016 Aug;75(8):228-34.

Disparate Rates of Utilization and Progression to Combined Heart Failure and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease among Asians and Pacific Islanders in Hawai'i.

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Office of Biostatistics & Quantitative Health Sciences, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai'i, Honolulu, HI (JD).


The objectives of the study were to compare ethnic differences in the rates of emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations, and to examine ethnic differences in how quickly patients with either chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or congestive heart failure (CHF) developed both diseases. A large health plan in Hawai.i provided administrative data (2007 to 2010) on patients of Native Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, and White race/ethnicity. The study found distinct patterns of health risks among the multi-ethnic population of patients with COPD, CHF, or both conditions. Native Hawaiians had the highest rates of ED visits and hospitalizations. Japanese, the largest ethnic group and relatively low health risks, were selected as the reference population. In adjusted regression models, Filipino patients with CHF developed COPD the most rapidly; 71% faster than Japanese patients. Compared to Japanese, Native Hawaiians with COPD transitioned to CHF 68% faster. The study highlights ethnic disparities in adverse events and disease progression in patients with COPD and CHF, with important implications for clinical practice. Health care providers may want to inform patients of ways to mitigate the risks.


Ethnic groups; Hawai‘i; chronic pulmonary disease; co-morbidity; heart failure

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