indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Dynamic Homes
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...

Latest Headlines:

Fake news about name change for Washington NFL team goes viral in Indian Country
Navajo Nation accusses Wells Fargo Bank of exploiting tribal citizens in new lawsuit
Havasupai Tribe sees mixed victory in litigation to protect Grand Canyon from uranium
Democrat Doug Jones claims win in Senate race roiled by sexual misconduct scandal
Major changes in store as trust reform office returns home to Bureau of Indian Affairs
Trump team reinstates delay for land-into-trust applications without consulting tribes
Choctaw Nation citizen taking oath of office as top federal prosecutor in Oklahoma
Albert Bender: Wisconsin police kill 14-year-old indigenous boy on his own homeland
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation takes the lead in embracing green energy solutions
Native Sun News Today: Family raises awareness after Lakota man dies in Rapid City
David Ganje: South Dakota must do more to protect ground water and surface water
Indian Child Welfare Act under attack again as conservative group submits appeal
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community secures federal permit to manufacture tobacco
Soboba Band on track to finish fast-rising replacement gaming facility next summer
Supreme Court shakes up docket by accepting sovereignty case at request of tribe
Supreme Court brings good news to Quapaw Tribe in restoration of homelands case
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe in limbo as Supreme Court delays sovereignty dispute
House committee schedules markup on Alaska Native health and Oregon tribal bills
Mark Trahant: Minnesota could make history with first Native woman in Congress
Dean Parisian: The answers to problems at Pine Ridge must come from Pine Ridge
Native Sun News Today: Tribes promise 'war' over gold mining in sacred Black Hills
Native Sun News Today Review: Book looks into heritage of activist Russell Means
Cronkite News: Republican resigns immediately after details of misconduct surface
YES! Magazine: Tribes lead battles against big oil projects in the Pacific Northwest
Gun Lake Tribe surpasses $100 million mark in gaming revenues shared in Michigan
Omaha Tribe fires back after being accused of mismanaging federal disaster funds
Mark Trahant: Paulette Jordan launches historic campaign for governor of Idaho
Native Sun News Today: Oglala Sioux Tribe joins heated debate over drug patents
YES! Magazine: President Trump's shrinking of Bears Ears won't survive in courts
James Giago Davies: You can't break from the past until you admit you're stuck
Federal jury returns guilty verdict for brutal murder of woman on Crow Reservation
Eastern Cherokees cheer high school football team at state championship game
Secretary Zinke defends use of government helicopters for trips near Washington
Lawmakers with connections to Indian Country resign due to sexual harassment
Congress passes bill to avert shutdown of federal agencies for another two weeks
Montaukett Indian Nation denied a second time as governor vetoes recognition bill
Leech Lake Band breaks ground on replacement casino with help from fellow tribe
Tohono O'odham Nation celebrates start of work on $400 million permanent casino
Trump administration throws up hurdles for first new tribal water rights settlements
Navajo Nation leaders offer condolences after three students die in school shooting
Tribal employment measure officially presented to President Trump for his signature
Senate committee approves bill to fund victim services programs in Indian Country
Native punk rock band Sihasin 'excited' after being featured in new car commercial
Kirsten Matoy Carlson: Trump team actually does something right for tribal lands
Blackfeet Nation seeks co-management of area under consideration as monument
Chickasaw Nation gaming revenues hit $1.44 billion as enterprise keeps growing
Tribes turn tables on non-Indian company intent on derailing new gaming facility
Ponca Tribe prepares for brighter future with plans for $26 million health center
Grand jury seeks another charge against officer accused in Native man's death
Jacqueline Keeler: Trump again uses Navajo elders as props for his political gain
Native Sun News Today: New Lakota basketball journey begins at Cheyenne River
Cronkite News: Supreme Court grapples with case of cake and same-sex couple
Omaha Tribe 'mismanaged' nearly $14 million in funds after disastrous flooding
Nooksack Tribe plans to revive disenrollment campaign despite many warnings
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe selects Ronald Ekdahl for chief as council takes office
Chilkat Indian Village sues to protect salmon runs from mining project in Alaska
Chief of police for Kalispel Tribe charged with domestic violence in Washington
Prairie Island Indian Community cuts ribbon for $86 million expansion at casino
Morongo Band accused of treating casino employees unfairly amid labor dispute
>>> more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | 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.