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Report shows health disparities in American Indians and Alaska Natives

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7410.305-a (Published 07 August 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:305
  1. Upasana Tayal
  1. BMJ

    American Indians and Alaska Natives—2.5 million people, or about 0.9% of the US population—have higher rates of diabetes, bronchiolitis, and injury than all other US racial populations combined, a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. During 1994-2002, the overall age adjusted prevalence of diabetes in American Indians and Alaska Natives adults increased by 33%, from 11.5% to 15.3%. Although this increase was lower than that among US adults overall (54% increase from 4.8% to 7.3%) the proportion with diabetes is much higher.

    Figure1

    Credit: COURTESY OF INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE/US DEPARTMENT OF HEATH AND HUMAN SERVICES

    The report also found, however, that overall cancer mortality among American Indians and Alaska Natives (161.4 per 100 000 population) was lower than the US rate (205.5) for all racial/ethnic populations combined, although cancer mortality by region was highest for American Indians and Alaska Natives in Alaska and the northern Plains regions (248.9 and 291.7 per 100 000 population respectively). (See www.cdc.gov/mmwr//PDF/wk/mm5230.pdf

    The BMJ will be looking at the health of indigenous people in its theme issue on 23 August.

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