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Highlights in Minority Health
November, 2005
Respecting Tradition, Embracing a Healthy Future.  National American Indiand & Alaska Native Heritage Month.  November, 2005

 

NOVEMBER 2005 IS AMERICAN INDIAN/ALASKA NATIVE (AI/AN) HERITAGE MONTH
   
Respecting Tradition, Embracing a Healthy Future 1
During National American Indian Heritage Month, we celebrate our commitment to respect and preserve the rich Native American traditions and cultures.2 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will join with other Federal departments and agencies, local government offices, national and local organizations, and interested individuals to recognize American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) contributions to the development and history of the United States.3
The Census Bureau estimates that 4.4 million people are AI/AN or AI/AN in combination with one or more other races as of July 1, 2004, making up 1.5% of the total population.4

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EXAMPLES OF IMPORTANT HEALTH DISPARITIES
 
A variety of health disparities affect AI/AN communities:5
  red arrow In 2001, AI/ANs had the highest rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) of all racial/ethnic groups (124.2 per 1,000 live births), 2.2 times higher than the rate for all populations (55.5 per 1,000).6
  red arrow After African Americans, AI/ANs had the highest diabetes death rate in 2002 (43.2 per 100,000 population), 1.7 times higher than the rate for all populations (25.4 per 100,000).7
  red arrow In 2002, AI/ANs had the highest death rate from Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis (22.8 per 100,000), 2.4 times higher than the rate for all populations (9.4 per 100,000).8
  red arrow In 2002, AI/ANs were 1.5 times more likely to die from unintentional injury (54.0 per 100,000) compared to all races combined (36.9 per 100,000).  They were 1.8 times more likely to die from a motor vehicle injury (29.0 per 100,000) compared to all populations combined (15.7 per 100,000).9
  red arrow In 2003, the rate of gonorrhea among AI/ANs was 103.5 per 100,000, 3.2 times higher than the rate among whites in 2003 of 32.7 cases per 100,000 population.10
  red arrow The estimated AIDS diagnosis rate among American Indian and Alaska Native adults and adolescents was 10.4 per 100,000 persons, the 3rd highest rate after those for African American adults and adolescents (75.2 per 100,000) and Hispanic adults and adolescents (26.8 per 100,000). The estimated AIDS diagnosis rate was 7.2 per 100,000 for white adults and adolescents and 4.8 per 100,000 for Asian and Pacific Islander adults and adolescents.11

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PROGRAMS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
 
To address these disparities, CDC and ATSDR work with tribal governments, tribal organizations, urban Indian health centers, IHS, and other partners to provide funding and technical assistance to tribal governments and organizations. CDC and ATSDR also commit professional staff to positions in Indian country and work with IHS to strengthen AI/AN public health capacity. Additional information is available on the OMH AI/AN Population Page and from ATSDR. 12

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FOR MORE INFORMATION
   
  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
 
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Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHD)
      American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Populations
      American Indian & Alaska Native National, Regional & Local Health Boards List
      Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Repot (MMWR)
      Tribal Epidemiology Centers
      569 American Indian/Alaska Native Tribes
 
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CDC Office on Smoking and Health
  blue sphere American Indians and Alaska Natives and Tobacco
  blue sphere ATSDR Office of Tribal Affairs
  Indian Health Service (IHS) AI/AN Heritage Month Events
  White House Presidential Proclamation
  White House Executive Order 13270: Tribal Colleges and Universities
  U.S. Census Bureau Facts on the AI/AN Population
  Bureau of Indian Affairs
  FirstGov for Tribal Governments and American Indians
 

Indian Health Service

  Native American Resources on the Internet
  National Council of Urban Indian Health
  Social Security Online: American Indians and Alaska Natives
  Healthfinder: American Indians and Alaska Natives
  Medline Plus: Native American Health
  Administration on Aging (AoA)
  blue sphere American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians
  blue sphere Rural Aging
  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  American Diabetes Association: Native Americans
  National Indian Council On Aging (NICOA)
  National Indian Health Board (NIHB)
  National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC)

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SOURCES
1. http://www.ihs.gov/PublicAffairs/Heritage/index.cfm
2. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/11/20041104-15.html
3. http://www.cdc.gov/omh/Highlights/2004/HNov2004.htm
4. http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_
special_editions/005684.html
5. http://www.cdc.gov/omh/Highlights/2004/HNov2004.htm
6.
7. Health US, 2004, table 29
8. Health US, 2004, table 29
9. CDC, NCIPC, WISQUARS
10. http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/minorities.htm
11. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/PUBS/Facts/Indian.htm
12. http://www.cdc.gov/omh/Highlights/2004/HNov2004.htm

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