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MMWR Surveillance Summaries
Surveillance for Health Behaviors of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Findings from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 1997–2000
Contact: Clark Denny, PhD
Synopsis for August 1, 2003
Injury Mortality Among American Indian and Alaska Native Children and Youth — United States, 1989–1998
Native American children and youth are at greater risk of preventable injury-related death than other children in America.
This CDC study found that injuries and violence account for 75 percent of all deaths among children and youth from one to 19 years old in this population. The risk of injury-related death is about twice that of all children and youth in the country and the risk for Native Americans varies from one region of the country to another. CDC researchers found that more than 3300 Native American children and youth living on or near reservations died as a result of injuries or violence between 1989 and 1998. While injury death rates declined for motor vehicle crashes (18 percent), drowning (34 percent), fire (49 percent), and pedestrian incidents (56 percent); rates increased for firearm-related deaths (13 percent) and homicide (20 percent). Because each Native American community is unique, CDC researchers recommend that addressing local practices and cultures can help future prevention measures to narrow the injury disparity gap with other children in America.
Diabetes Prevalence Among American Indians/Alaska Natives and the Overall U.S. Population — 1994–2002
Diabetes continues to disproportionately affect American Indians and Alaska Natives compared with the overall U.S. population.
Diabetes is also becoming more common in both populations and has emerged as a public health concern for young populations in several racial and ethnic groups, including American Indians and Alaska Natives. Earlier onset increases the lifetime duration of the disease and the risk for costly and disabling diabetes-related complications. There are also health concerns for young women of child-bearing age because the offspring of women, who had diabetes during pregnancy, may be at increased risk of developing the disease. Among persons with diabetes, appropriate health care practices (e.g., aggressive control of high blood sugar and high blood pressure) have been shown to prevent or delay diabetes-related complications such as eye disease, kidney disease, or nerve damage.
Cancer Mortality Among American Indians and Alaska Natives — United States, 1994– 1998
Overall, the cancer death rate among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) was lower than the U.S. cancer mortality rate for all races combined.
However, the aforementioned findings obscure important regional differences in cancer mortality, particularly lung and colorectal cancer. The AI/AN population of the Northern Plains region and Alaska have higher cancer mortality rates when compared to all races combined in the US. Higher colorectal cancer and lung cancer mortality rates are largely responsible for this difference, though deaths due to cancer of the stomach, liver and gallbladder are also elevated in those 2 regions. Lung cancer deaths in AI/ANs in the American Southwest were very low, a finding related to little tobacco use in that area by the Native population. These findings are important indicators of where efforts should be directed to address cancer in AI/ANs, the second leading cause of death in this population. In particular, they point the need to emphasize tobacco control programs and colorectal cancer screening programs in the Northern Plains and in Alaska.
Bronchiolitis-Associated Outpatient Visits and Hospitalizations Among American Indian/Alaska Native Children — United States, 1996–2000
Bronchiolitis is a significant cause of morbidity in American Indian/Alaska Native children and efforts must be made to develop preventive programs.
This report shows a disproportionate burden of outpatient and inpatient bronchiolitis-associated disease in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children relative to other U.S. children. Overall, bronchiolitis-associated hospitalization rates continue to increase for children in the United States, despite the availability of effective preventive therapies in high-risk, premature infants for the most common etiology of bronchiolitis, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Continued efforts are needed to develop and implement targeted preventive strategies for bronchiolitis among all children and especially those in AI/AN communities.
Vaccination Coverage Levels Among Alaska Native Children Aged 19–35 Months — National Immunization Survey, United States, 2000–2001
Immunization coverage among Alaska Native children is high.
This report indicates that Alaska Native (AN) children aged 19–35 months have a high level of vaccination coverage that exceeds the national goal for 2010 of 90% for all vaccines except varicella and the fourth dose of DTP. This achievement, despite the presence of barriers to vaccination, demonstrates the commitment of AN communities, tribal corporations, and state public health to address health concerns and exemplifies the effectiveness of using multiple strategies (e.g., reducing financial and access barriers, making vaccination a priority, using collaborative efforts, tracking and recall, assessment, and registries).
West Nile Virus Activity — United States, July 24–30, 2003
No summary available.
This page last reviewed July 31, 2003
Disease Control and Prevention