November is Native American History Month, and while walking down the corridors of the UM Hospital this morning, I spied a flier with some disturbing statistics. I had known that Native Americans suffered a large disparity in health, as compared to the rest of America, but check this out:
– American Indians and Alaskan Natives have the 2nd highest infant mortality rate in the nation and the highest rate of SIDS
– The death rate among American Indians ages 15-24 are also higher than those of white persons in the same age group
– American Indians and Alaskan Natives are five times more likely to die of alcohol-related causes than are whites, but they are less likely to die of cancer or heart disease
– The rate of diabetes for this population group is more than twice that for whites. In particular, the Pina Tribe of Arizona has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world
-The incidence of end-stage renal disease, a complication of diabetes, is higher among American Indians and Alaskan Natives than for both whites and African Americans.