Vision – Families live in safe and supportive communities.
In order to assess progress towards the above vision, North Hawaii Outcomes Project has selected priority population level health indicators to track over time. These are described below.
All Causes of Death Rates
The overall age-adjusted death rate per 100,000 population for Hawaii County between 1999 and 2009 has been consistently higher than the State death rate (chart). Both rates have improved over the past decade. The causes for the higher death rate in Hawaii County are complex. Improvement will require collaboration to address economic barriers, support for healthy life styles and improving access to primary care.
Suicide Death Rates
An area of growing concern in Hawaii County is the higher and escalating death rate from suicide (chart). In 2009, the Hawaii County death rate for suicide was nearly twice the state rate. The island of Hawaii is a federally designated mental health shortage area. Improving identification and effective management of depression is an important strategy. In addition, addressing chemical dependency and the economic conditions associated with chemical dependency is needed for long term improvement.
Historically, Hawaii County has a traffic-related death rate nearly three times higher than the State rate (chart). However, since 2004 the Hawaii County death rate has improved from 25.6 in 2004 to 17.9 in 2010. This may be related to the increasing focus on Hawaii Island traffic safety through the multidisciplinary Motor Vehicle Crash Reduction Group facilitated by NHOP.
Fatal Traffic Crashes
The Hawaii County fatal crash rate decreased between 2006 to 2009 (chart).
Hawaii County Residents Report Higher Rate of Fair to Poor Health Compared to State
The general well-being measure from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Surveys shows that a consistently higher percent of people in Hawaii County reported that their health was fair to poor compared to the state (chart). There was no significant improvement over the past decade.
Hawaii County Residents Report Similar Rate of Very Good to Excellent Health
Hawaii County residents reported that their health was excellent to very good at similar percent compared to the state. However, only about 50% of both the county and state reported very good to excellent health (chart).
Population Juvenile Drug Arrests
This data comes from the Uniform Crime Reporting Program Data State of Hawaii. It shows that the number of juvenile drug arrests in Hawaii County declined in Hawaii County between 2000 -2002, but has steadily increased since then. The number of arrests may reflect police staffing and enforcement policies as well as drug use patterns (chart).
“Life Expectancy is a summary measure often used to gauge the overall health of a population” (CDC, 2009).
Hawaii County Life Expectancy Lower than Other Counties
Hawaii County had the lowest average life expectancy, 79.6 years compared to 81.6 years for the City and County of Honolulu (chart). This lower life expectancy is likely related to all three factors influencing population health shown on page four, social and economic determinants, health-related behaviors and health systems, especially access to healthcare.