your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Study finds Alaska Native youth at risk for asthma
Friday, May 14, 2004

Native children in Western Alaska suffer from a high rate of chronic respiratory symptoms, including asthma, according to research published this month.

In one of the first studies of its kind, researchers looked at the health conditions of nearly 400 Native middle-school students in the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta region of Alaska. They discovered that 40 percent experienced asthma, asthma-like symptoms or chronic productive cough.

Respiratory problems were reported equally among Native boys and girls. But researchers found that geography played a role in whether children suffered from asthma or chronic productive cough, sometimes referred to as "wet cough."

Children living in towns were at twice the risk of asthma than those who lived in villages, according to the study. On the other hand, village children were nearly three times as likely to suffer from chronic productive cough than those in towns.

"The reasons for variation in respiratory conditions within the YK delta are not clear," said Dr. Toby C. Lewis, who helped conduct the study. "There is a well-established, unified health-care system across the region, and, therefore, we do not think these differences are due to lack of access to health care or differences in diagnostic practices. Rather, we suspect there may be differences in environmental conditions that either increase risk or are protective for the children, and that these conditions vary within the region."

According to the study, a number of factors increase the risk for asthma and other respiratory conditions. These include crowded housing conditions, low income levels, exposure to tobacco smoke and exposure to wood-burning stoves. Alaska Natives have one of the highest rates of tobacco usage in the United States.

At the same time, the rural nature of the YK delta may protect Native children from asthma. "Exposure to concentrated industrial or motor vehicle emissions is rare," researchers wrote in the study. "Exposure to allergens is thought to be uncommon, given the subarctic climate."

Additionally, Alaska Natives in the delta have access to the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation, a Native-funded consortium representing 58 village tribal councils. YK researchers worked with the University of Washington to conduct the study, which was published in the May issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Asthma is the most common childhood chronic disease, with at least 5 million children in the United States affected. Worldwide, asthma rates are on the rise.

Asthma is characterized by wheezing, coughing, or breathing difficulties, and can lead to hospitalization. Chronic productive cough can lead to difficulty in sleeping, which can affect school performance.

"These respiratory conditions were severe enough to cause school absence at least once a month for 5% of students and to trigger an emergency department visit for 8% of students within the last year," the researchers noted.

Most of the Native children in the study were of Yu'pik Eskimo heritage. With a better understanding of how asthma affects specific populations, such as Alaska Natives, we may gain insight into how asthma can be more effectively managed and prevented," said Paul A. Kvale, the incoming president of the American College of Chest Physicians.

A study of American Indian and Alaska Native adults reported that 11.6 percent suffered from asthma, the highest rate among single-race groups. The national average for adults was 7.5 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Study - Prevalence of Asthma and Chronic Respiratory Symptoms Among Alaska Native Children:
Abstract [Free] | Full Text [Requires Subscription]

Relevant Links:
Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation -

Related Stories:
Native Americans suffer from high rate of asthma (03/01)
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...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Democracy Now: Dakota Access security guards weren't licensed (10/27)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge youth center stresses safety (10/27)
Dana Lone Hill: Indian people won't stop fighting for our rights (10/27)
Steven Newcomb: Reconciliation means covering up the truth (10/27)
Republican Donald Trump invested in Dakota Access Pipeline (10/27)
The Sioux Chef on track to open indigenous restaurant in 2017 (10/27)
Jury restarts deliberations in armed standoff on tribal territory (10/27)
Native youth pressure Hillary Clinton to take a #NoDAPL stand (10/26)
Native candidate in South Dakota gets a big boost from Obama (10/26)
Landowners from Bad River Band see $6.6M in buy-back offers (10/26)
Navajo Nation lawmaker warns further action needed on hemp (10/26)
Former Obama administration official joins Native owned firm (10/26)
Justice Department opens criminal databases to more tribes (10/26)
Mark Trahant: Native candidates for Congress in final stretch (10/26)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe reacts to shootings (10/26)
Native Sun News Today: Pine Ridge football team impresses (10/26)
Brandon Ecoffey: Strong fixes needed for reservation crime (10/26)
Raúl Grijalva: Republicans still won't listen to Indian Country (10/26)
Steve Russell: The magic of Donald Trump's 'plan' for America (10/26)
Harlan McKosato: Film pays tribute to 'warrior' Elouise Cobell (10/26)
Haskell University expelled student who was victim of assault (10/26)
Jury deliberates verdicts in armed standoff on tribal territory (10/26)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe gets court date in gaming lawsuit (10/26)
Tule River Tribe gains support for moving casino to a new site (10/26)
First Nations casino in Saskatchewan pays out $1.5M jackpot (10/26)
Dakota Access ramps up spending on lobbying and politicians (10/25)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe presses Obama on Dakota Access (10/25)
Indian National Finals Rodeo gears up for big crowds in Vegas (10/25)
Mark Trahant: Native candidates benefit from Clinton landslide (10/25)
Lakota Country Times: Shooting pushes Pine Ridge into action (10/25)
Native Sun News Today: Sisters want police help for stolen car (10/25)
Delphine Red Shirt: Teach the language like our elders wanted (10/25)
Jeffrey Whalen: Oglala Sioux Tribe keeps making bad decisions (10/25)
Cronkite News: Fighting the opioid epidemic in Indian Country (10/25)
Harlan McKosato: Just what are Indians supposed to look like? (10/25)
ICT series continues with George W. Bush's sovereignty gaffe (10/25)
United South and Eastern Tribes open sovereignty conference (10/25)
Navajo Nation in discussions to cultivate hemp on reservation (10/25)
Eastern Cherokees looking to build data center on reservation (10/25)
Cherokee Nation schedules job fairs for newest gaming facility (10/25)
California Nations Indian Gaming Association chooses director (10/25)
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.