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Last Reviewed: November 26, 2008
Last Modified: November 26, 2008
Content Source:
Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities (OMHD)


Highlights in Minority Health
& Health Disparities
November, 2008

 

     American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month November, 2008

~ A Native Prescription: Balancing Mind, Body, & Spirit ~
 

 
NOVEMBER 2008 IS AMERICAN INDIAN / ALASKA NATIVE (AI/AN) HERITAGE MONTH
This Heritage Month honors the many contributions and accomplishments of American Indians and Alaska Natives. During November, we remember the legacy of the first Americans and celebrate their vibrant and living traditions.1  During this month, 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.2
The Census Bureau estimates that 4.5 million people are American Indian or Alaska Native alone or in combination with one or more other races as of July 1, 2007, making up 1.5% of the total population.3

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EXAMPLES OF IMPORTANT HEALTH DISPARITIES
A variety of health disparities affect AI/AN communities:2
purple square In 2004, AI/ANs had the 2nd highest rate of Infant Deaths of all racial/ethnic groups (8.4 per 1,000), 1.24 times higher than the rate for all populations (6.8 per 1,000), and 1.8 times higher than the rate for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (4.7), the group with the lowest Infant death rate.4
purple square After African Americans, AI/ANs had the highest diabetes death rate in 2005 (41.5 per 100,000 population), 1.7 times higher than the rate for all populations (24.6 per 100,000), and 2.5 times higher than the rate for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (16.6).5
purple square In 2005, AI/ANs had the highest death rate from Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis (22.6 per 100,000), more than 2.5 times higher than the rate for all populations (9.0 per 100,000) 6.3 times higher than the rate for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (3.6).5
purple square In 2005, AI/ANs were 1.4 times more likely to die from unintentional injuries (54.7 per 100,000) compared to all races combined (39.1 per 100,000).  AI/ANs were 1.6 times more likely to die from a motor vehicle injury (24.8 per 100,000) compared to all populations combined (15.2 per 100,000).6
purple square In 2006, the rate of Gonorrhea among AI/ANs was 138.3 per 100,000 population, more than 6.5 times higher than the rate among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the group with the lowest rate (21.1).7
The rate of Chlamydia among AI/ANs was 797.3 per 100,000, more than 6 times higher than the rate among sian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the group with the lowest rate (132.1).8.
purple square In 2005, the estimated rate of AIDS diagnoses for 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 (71.3 per 100,000) and Hispanic adults and adolescents (27.8 per 100,000). The estimated AIDS diagnosis rate was 8.8 per 100,000 for white adults and adolescents and 7.4 per 100,000 for Asian and Pacific Islander adults and adolescents.9

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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 establish and increase partnerships, increase collaborations, and provide funding and technical assistance.2
Since Fiscal Year 2006, CDC and ATSDR have begun implementing their Tribal Consultation Policy (TCP) that provides agency guidance for working effectively with AI/AN communities and organizations, as well as enhancing AI/AN access to CDC and ATSDR programs.  The policy identifies when CDC programs should involve Tribal leaders and outlines specific responsibilities regarding program activities, including mutual participation in setting program and budget priorities.  CDC and ATSDR also commit professional staff to positions in Indian country and work with the Indian Health Service (IHS) to strengthen AI/AN public health infrastructure and capacity.
The CDC/ATSDR Tribal Consultation Advisory Committee (TCAC) was established in October 2006 and has continued to meet on a quarterly basis with two of these TCAC meeting being held in conjunction with CDC Biannual Tribal Consultation Sessions.  Only one meeting of the TCAC is held at CDC headquarters in Atlanta with the other three and a Consultation Session being hosted by a tribe and/or tribal organization somewhere in Indian country.   These meetings are critical to help build and strengthen connectivity and partnerships between CDC and tribal nations.  The TCAC provides a complementary venue wherein tribal representatives and CDC staff will exchange information about public health issues in Indian country, identify urgent public health needs in AI/AN communities, and discuss collaborative approaches to addressing these issues and needs.  TCAC is assisting CDC to plan their upcoming Tribal Consultation Sessions.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  CDC's Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities (OMHD)
    American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Populations
    American Indian & Alaska Native National, Regional & Local Health Boards List
    Tribal Epidemiology Centers
    CDC's Tribal Consultation Policy
    Tribal Consultation Advisory Committee (TCAC)
    2nd Biannual Tribal Consultation Session
November 18-20, 2008
Tucson, Arizona
    569 American Indian/Alaska Native Tribes
  Smoking and Tobacco Use
  American Indians and Alaska Natives and Tobacco
  ATSDR Office of Tribal Affairs
Indian Health Service (IHS)
IHS Heritage Site
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
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)
American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians
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. The White House, National American Indian Heritage Month, 2007
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHD), Highlights in Minority Health, November 2007
  3. U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features:American Indian / Alaska Native Heritage Month: November 2008
  4. CDC, NCHS, Health, United States, 2007, table 19 (PDF)
  5. CDC, NCHS, Health, United States, 2007, table 29 (PDF)
  6. CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC),Web-based Injury statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), 2004
  7. CDC, National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHSTP), STD Surveillance 2006; table 21b, Gonorrhea - Rates per 100,000 population by race/ethnicity, age group & sex: US, 2002-2006
  8. CDC, National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHSTP), STD Surveillance 2006; table 11b, Chlamydia - Rates per 100,000 population by race/ethnicity, age group & sex: US, 2002-2006
  9. CDC, NCHSTP, HIV/AIDS Among American Indians and Alaska Natives, 2008

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