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Health
CDC: High rate of Indian deaths from H1N1 virus


American Indians and Alaska Natives made up a disproportionate number of deaths from the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported today.

Between April 15 and November 13, 426 people in 12 states died from the virus. Of those, 42 were American Indians or Alaska Natives.

The deaths made up 9.9 percent of all cases even though American Indians and Alaska Natives represented only about 3 percent of the general population in those states, the CDC reported.

"In all age groups, the AI/AN death rate was higher than the rate for all other racial/ethnic populations combined," the CDC said in this week's issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report .

According to the report, 81.0% of the American Indians and Alaska Natives who died had high-risk health conditions, compared with 77.6% of persons in all other racial/ethnic populations combined. In addition, greater percentages had asthma (31.0%) and diabetes (45.2%) than those of all other racial/ethnic populations combined (14.1% asthma and 24.0% diabetes).

The states examined were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Michigan, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Get the Report:
Deaths Related to 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) Among American Indian/Alaska Natives --- 12 States, 2009 (MMWR December 11, 2009)

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