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In many cases, preventable admissions rates are comparable for urban and rural counties. However, rural residents are more likely to experience higher preventable hospitalization rates for several conditions including:1
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Angina
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes (uncontrolled)
  • Perforated appendix

The higher rates in Hawai'i's rural counties are due, in part, to the lack of access and availability of primary care resources and a growing elderly population. Hawai'i, Kaua'i, and Maui Counties have been designated Medically Under-served Areas or Populations by the federal Health Resource and Service Administration (HRSA).

While variations in preventable hospitalization rates exist across Hawai'i's four counties, Kaua'i County has the highest rates for many indicators.  However, an area of notable improvement is the decrease in asthma hospitalizations on Kaua'i in recent years.  Kaua'i County's asthma rates were significantly higher than the U.S. comparison earlier in this decade, but have consistently fallen since 2003.  The decrease in hospitalizations can be attributed largely to successful community based initiatives such as the Hawaii State Asthma Control Program.2

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