indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
CDC documents premature deaths from heart disease
Monday, February 23, 2004

American Indians and Alaska Natives are more likely to die early from heart disease than any other racial or ethnic group, according to data released on Friday.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. In 2001 alone, it accounted for 29 percent of all deaths in the nation.

That year, about 2,400 Native Americans died from heart disease. The number was less than one-half of one percent of all total deaths from the disease.

But a larger proportion of Native Americans died early than any other group. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 36 percent died prematurely -- before the age of 65 -- from heart disease in 2001.

The rate was more than twice the national rate of premature deaths, or 16.8 percent. And it was more than two and one-half times the rate for White Americans, or 14.7 percent.

Hispanics and Asian-Americans showed similar premature death rates, 23.5 percent and 21.1 percent, respectively. At 31.5 percent, only African-Americans experienced as high a death rate as Native Americans.

"Reducing premature death from heart disease and eliminating disparities will require preventing, detecting, treating, and controlling risk factors for heart disease in young and middle-aged adults," government researchers wrote in last week's edition of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the CDC.

According to the researchers, American Indians and Alaska Natives are at high risk to heart disease due to high rates of smoking. Native adults and youth smoke at nearly twice the rates of their counterparts, according to government statistics.

Tobacco use among Natives is particularly high in Alaska, the Northern Plains and the Pacific Northwest. Of all states, Alaska has the highest rate of premature deaths from heart disease, according to the CDC report.

Additional risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, physical inactivity and obesity. "Premature death from heart disease can be reduced by preventing or treating these risk factors," the researchers wrote in an editorial note. "Public health professionals should focus efforts on prevention and risk reduction at all ages, and particularly at younger ages among racial/ethnic minorities."

Other studies have shown high rates of hypertension and blood cholesterol among Native Americans. They have also shown an alarming rate of diabetes, especially among Native youth. Obesity is an indicator of diabetes.

Researchers have seen some positive signs, however. In December, the CDC found that American Indians were more likely to use preventive services than most other minority groups. Indian men and women are checking their cholesterol and having examinations for diabetes-related conditions at rates approaching the national average.

The release of the CDC statistics came as Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson apologized for sanitizing a report on health disparities. References to high rates of disease among Native Americans and other minorities were toned down by political appointees, something Thompson said was a "mistake."

"African-Americans and Native Americans die younger than any other racial or ethnic group," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a doctor, said earlier this month. "African-Americans, Native Americans and Hispanic Americans are at least twice as likely to suffer from diabetes and experience serious complications. These gaps are unacceptable."

Frist is sponsoring the Closing the Health Care Gap Act in an effort to reduce health disparities. The bill seeks to coordinate and improve data collection among minorities. Tribes would be eligible for grants to improve access to health care.

February is American Heart Month. This year alone, the CDC estimates that more than a half a million Americans will die after suffering a heart attack.

Get the Study:
Disparities in Premature Deaths from Heart Disease --- 50 States and the District of Columbia, 2001 | American Heart Month --- February 2004

Relevant Links:
Office of Minority Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - http://www.cdc.gov/omh
Indian Health Service - http://www.ihs.gov
Department of Health and Human Services - http://www.hhs.gov

Health Disparities Bill:
Closing the Health Care Gap Ac (S.2091)

Related Stories:
CDC calls attention to health disparities in U.S. (02/09)
Preventive efforts touted by Surgeon General (2/5)
Grim promotes Indian Health Service funding (2/3)
Daschle asks Bush to increase funding for IHS (12/18)
Study warns of rise in diabetes among Native youth (12/04)
Survey finds heavy health burden on Indian population (12/01)
Survey finds high-risk behaviors among BIA students (11/13)
Democrats lay out plan for minority and Indian health (10/22)
Daschle: Improve Health Care in Indian Country (10/15)
Smoking rates among Natives highest in nation (10/10)
Senate votes down health and trust measures (09/24)
Drug use among Natives highest in nation (09/17)
Cancer rates on the decline in Indian Country (09/03)
Health studies show Indian Country disparities (08/01)
Diabetes rates explode in Indian Country (05/07)
CDC atlas documents disparity in stroke deaths (02/21)
Tribes told to explore health funding options (02/05)
Indian Country receives diabetes grants (12/11)
Congress approves $750M for Indian diabetes (11/21)
Northern Plains tribes see high infant death rate (10/30)
Americans, young and old, are getting fatter (10/09)
Elder care study shows worsening problems (07/11)
Report stresses importance of health insurance (5/22)
Poor Indian health blamed on federal failures (3/21)
CDC: Death rates at record lows, except Indians (10/11)
CDC: Indian mothers heaviest smokers (8/29)
Indian Country ranks high in deaths (6/27)
Cancer deaths increase in Indian Country (6/6)
CDC: HIV statistics point to new 'epidemic' (6/1)

Copyright © 2000-2004 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Tim Giago: Taking a trip down memory lane with Lakota Times (4/24)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe puts hold on ethics board (4/24)
Steven Newcomb: Gradual stealing of Western Shoshone land (4/24)
John Kane: Keystone battle is about Native identity and land (4/24)
Albert Bender: Cowboys and Indians unite to fight Keystone (4/24)
Joyce Oberly: Teach all sides of tribal land theft in Oklahoma (4/24)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Treating Native culture as a commodity (4/24)
Al Jazeera: Pascua Yaqui Tribe looks for justice under VAWA (4/24)
Northern Arapaho Tribe per cap stirs boost in local economy (4/24)
Navajo Nation Council fails to revive higher tax on junk foods (4/24)
Graton Rancheria defends decision to pave over historic site (4/24)
North Dakota commission backs power line opposed by tribes (4/24)
Former Cedarville Rancheria leader back in court for murders (4/24)
Florida court rejects tribal jurisdiction in child custody dispute (4/24)
South Dakota Tribal Relations Secretary to step down from job (4/24)
Yakama Nation sues to put a stop to tours on sacred mountain (4/24)
CSKT firm lands $1.8M contract to provide military equipment (4/24)
Indiana settles lawsuit over religious rights of Indian inmates (4/24)
District leaders on Tohono O'odham Nation removed over theft (4/24)
Morongo Band announces partnership for Internet poker game (4/24)
Snoqualmie Tribe seeks repayment of investment in Fiji casino (4/24)
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe expected to miss second gaming payment (4/24)
Judge won't block construction of Jamul Indian Village casino (4/24)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe awaits decision in gaming lawsuit (4/24)
Native Sun News: Oglala student makes name as young writer (4/23)
Mark Trahant: Budget predictions at the Indian Health Service (4/23)
Zoltán Grossman: Cowboy Indian Alliance rides in Washington (4/23)
Gyasi Ross: Stop Keystone XL Pipeline and protect homelands (4/23)
Videos: Cowboy Indian Alliance protests Keystone XL Pipeline (4/23)
Steve Russell: Indians often seen an obstacle to government (4/23)
Mary Pember: Ojibwe women rise to protect the environment (4/23)
Brent Cahwee: Shoni Schimmel brings her show to the WNBA (4/23)
Malcolm Benally: Some Navajo leaders clueless on mascots (4/23)
Jacoby Ellsbury makes strong debut with New York Yankees (4/23)
Washington team owner says he 'understands' Indian issues (4/23)
Gathering of Nations ready for annual powwow and pageant (4/23)
Paskenta Band suspends family during contentious meeting (4/23)
Navajo family sues restaurant over drunken driving deaths (4/23)
Crushplate: 10 disturbing facts about Indian Country health (4/23)
North Dakota tribe ranks high among energy producers in US (4/23)
WXPR: Forest County Potawatomi Tribe taps green energy (4/23)
Opinion: Tribal members challenge California taxation rules (4/23)
Supreme Court allows ban on affirmative action in Michigan (4/23)
Turtle Talk: No word from Supreme Court on Bay Mills case (4/23)
ICT interview with Ernie Stevens of NIGA on racist mascots (4/23)
Jamul Band rejects claim about burial ground at casino site (4/23)
Stockbridge-Munsee Band sends $1M casino application fee (4/23)
Ho-Chunk Nation seeks road grant for off-reservation casino (4/23)
Teacher resigns after arrest for theft at Poarch Creek casino (4/23)
Native Sun News: Sisseton Wahpeton fighter gets big chance (4/22)
Native Sun News: Pine Ridge man behind Revolution Couture (4/22)
CDC reports show high death rates among Native Americans (4/22)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.