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a significantly lower life expectancy throughout the period from 1910 through 1970 than any other ethnic group in Hawaii. In 1970, the life expectancy for native Hawaiians was 67.62 years, compared to 77.44 for Japanese (the highest of all groups) and 74.20 years for all groups (see Table 31).

Leading Causes of Death

Table 32 shows the leading causes of death for the State of Hawaii population as a whole from 1920 to 1980. 71/ Most notable of those causes that are growing in importance as the century progresses are heart disease (although it declined in importance from 1960 to 1980) and cancer.

There is considerable variation in the proportion of persons dying of various causes in the different races of Hawaii. Table 33 shows the "crude" mortality rates by race for the ten leading causes of death in Hawaii for 1980. 72/ The death rate (based on estimated population per 100,000) for diseases of the heart was 163 for Caucasians compared to 62 for Hawaiians (the lowest of the five ethnic groups compared). The rate for cancer was: 138 for Japanese, 130 for Caucasians, 123 for Chinese, 113 for native Hawaiians, and 85 for Filipinos.

In February 1982, the Hawaii State Department of Health published a study by Mele A. Look, on the mortality of the Hawaiian people. 73/ Look, who is a student at the University of Hawaii, compared the mortality rates of full-Hawaiians, part-Hawaiians, and an "all races" group (the sum of all other ethnic groups in the State of Hawaii) for the years from 1910 to 1980.

Look's study reports the following findings (see also, Chart 5):

Overall mortality rates:

  • For each period studied, the major causes of death were the same for all three groups;
  • Overall mortality rates have been continuously declining for all three groups;
  • The "all races" group has the lowest rates overall; part-Hawaiians had rates similar to the "all races" group in many cases;
  • Rates for full-Hawaiians have been declining but remain at a consistently higher level.

Causes of death now on a downward trend:

  • Pneumonia, non-rheumatic endocarditis and myocardial degeneration, and infective and parasitic diseases, such as tuberculosis—full-Hawaiians' mortality rates for these diseases were two to five times higher than the "all races" group and as much as four times higher than the part-Hawaiians' mortality rates.

Causes of death on an upward trend:

  • Heart disease—mortality rates were generally higher for fulland part-Hawaiians except in 1910, 1920 and 1960, when rates for part-Hawaiians were not significantly different from the "all races" group; full-Hawaiians' heart disease mortality rates were consistently greater than the other groups;
  • Cancer--the part-Hawaiian and "all races" groups' mortality rates were at similar levels, differing significantly only in 1930 and 1970; full-Hawaiians have a mortality rate of one to two times higher than both of the other groups:

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