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American Indian and Native Alaskan Health Disparities

In: Social Issues

Submitted By ashleykay27
Words 1061
Pages 5
American Indian and Native Alaskan Health Status According to the Center for Disease Control, or CDC, there are currently 566 government recognized tribes of American Indian and Native Alaskan origin in the United States (2015). This group of tribes roughly equates to 5.2 million individuals who make up this minority group. There are many stereotypes that come along with Native American heritage, such as alcoholism, poverty, and illness. Sadly, these stereotypes are true and this minority has several major health disparities which affect them as a whole, including those previously mentioned.
Current Health Status and Health Disparities Of the 5.2 million American Indian and Native Alaskan population, a measured 26.9% lack health insurance (CDC, 2015). The unemployment rate does not help the poor health status of this group, being the second highest of all minority groups at 15.8%. A major health concern for Native Americans is diabetes. Compared to non-Hispanic whites, American Indians and Alaskan Natives are 2.2 times higher to develop diabetes. Ninety-five percent of American Indians and Alaskan Natives effected by diabetes have type 2 diabetes (American Diabetes Association, 2015). According to US News, only 51 percent of Native American high school students graduate (2013). The educational status of this minority group already puts them at a disadvantage for receiving proper health promotion and maintaining self-preservation. Higher dropout rates can be attributed to a higher incidence of sexual activity within this minority group, leading to the third highest teen pregnancy rate trailing behind African Americans and Hispanics. Along with sexual activity comes the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV. Statistics covering 1998 to 2005 indicate HIV rates among Native Americans were slightly higher than but comparable to those of

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