Diabetes Within American Indian and Alaska Native Populations

American Indians and Alaska Natives have a greater chance of having diabetes than any other US racial group. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, a costly condition that requires dialysis or kidney transplantation for survival. Kidney failure can be delayed or prevented by controlling blood pressure and blood sugar and by taking medicines that protect the kidneys. Good diabetes care includes regular kidney testing and education about kidney disease and treatment. Kidney failure from diabetes among Native Americans was the highest of any race. But this has declined the fastest now that the Indian Health Service (IHS) is using population health and team-based approaches to diabetes and kidney care, a potential model for other populations. Learn more about this public health success in a Vital Signs report.

Woman Checking Blood Sugar Level On Smart Phone

The Native Wellness Diabetes Program of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation honors a balance between cultural practices and western science in Indian Country to promote health and help prevent type 2 diabetes among AI/AN who are at risk. To support wellness and diabetes awareness, the Native Diabetes Wellness Program provides a collection of stories about tribal efforts to reclaim traditional foods; a series of colorful books for children to promote healthy eating and physical activity; and a collection of other helpful resources. All resources are free to order or download.