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Alabama report examines Indian health status

The Alabama Department of Public Health released the first-ever report into the health status of tribes in the state.

"Health Survey of American Indians of Alabama 2008: Keeping the Circle Healthy" found that members of the nine tribes are more physically active and consume more fruits and vegetables than the rest of the state. They also smoke less and binge drink less, and report less hypertension and less arthritis.

Despite the high marks, the report found that tribal members are less likely to receive preventive health care, such as screenings for mammograms, pap smears and prostate exams. Many reported lack of health insurance and higher rates of infectious diseases, like measles and mumps, that could be prevented by vaccines.

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is the only federally recognized tribe in Alabama. The others are recognized by the state.

Get the Story:
State's American Indians score well in health study (The Montgomery Advertiser 5/28)