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
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 - http://www.ykhc.org

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...

Latest Headlines:

Tribes in for long haul as oil continues to flow through Dakota Access
Mark Trahant: Don't plan on getting sick if you're from Indian Country
Tiffany Midge: I shall joke as long as the grass grows and the rivers flow
Director of Office of Indian Energy deletes offensive Twitter account
States cheer decision on grizzly bears amid tribal concerns about hunts
Washington asks high court to overturn Yakama Nation treaty victory
New York Times editorial board reconsiders stance on racist trademarks
Colville Tribes remove council member a week before citizens go to polls
Marijuana firm promises big investments with help of ex-Seminole chair
Lumbee Tribe ordered to release voter list to opponents of chairman
National Indian Gaming Association chooses David Bean as vice chair
Eastern Cherokee citizen promoted to vice president of casino marketing
Tribes in Connecticut waiting on governor to sign bill for new casino
Secretary Zinke removes protections for grizzlies over tribal objections
Court sets final deadline for remaining payments from Cobell settlement
Mary Annette Pember: Indian Child Welfare Act strengthens our families
Peter d'Errico: Navajo authors offer fresh perspective on sovereignty
Native woman was jailed and forced to ride with assailant during trial
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe challenges new permit for uranium operation
Montana tribes get new member of Congress who pleaded to assault
Connecticut tribes welcome court decision favoring new casino law
Pueblo tribes dispute state's demand for $40M in gaming revenues
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe remains confident of approval of casino
Nooksack Tribe accepting slot tickets while casino remains closed
Key House committee under fire for moving slowly on tribal agenda
Tribes go it alone on climate change as Trump team shifts priorities
Bryan Newland: President Trump's budget threatens tribal treaties
Steve Russell: The GI Bill changed the United States for the better
Harold Monteau: Democrats lack proactive agenda, proactive strategy
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe orders 20 non-citizens to leave reservation
Wilton Rancheria accused of working too closely with city on casino
Witness list for hearing on bill to reform the Indian Health Service
Arne Vainio: What does the princess want to be when she grows up?
Doug George-Kanentiio: 'Spirit Game' brings Iroquois lacrosse to life
Cronkite News: Navajo activist vows fight against racist NFL mascot
Eric Hannel: Addressing the health care crisis among Native Americans
Bill for tribal regalia at graduation ceremonies advances in California
Ramapough Lunaape Nation wins reversal of ruling on prayer camp
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe still waits on casino ruling from Trump team
Another former leader of Winnebago Tribe pleads in gaming theft case
Supreme Court ruling poses hurdle for opponents of racist NFL mascot
Change the Mascot campaign responds to negative Supreme Court ruling
Secretary Zinke set for another hearing on Interior Department budget
Mark Trahant: Republicans write health reform bill behind closed doors
Jeff Grubbe: Agua Caliente Band focuses on protecting our groundwater
Steven Newcomb: Asserting our traditions in the era of Donald Trump
Shasta Dazen: 'Family Spirit' program incorporates our tribal traditions
Secretary Zinke shuffles top Indian Affairs officials at Interior Department
Choctaw Nation travels to Ireland to dedicate 'Kindred Spirits' sculpture
Nooksack Tribe closes doors to casino after being hit with federal order
Muscogee Nation asserts authority at allotment where casino was proposed
Mark Trahant: Dakota Access decision offers a chance to return to respect
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe hails 'victory' in Dakota Access Pipeline case
Nooksack Tribe told to close casino amid leadership and citizenship feud
Kristi Noem: Enough is enough - It's time to fix the Indian Health Service
Second hearing scheduled on bill to reform the Indian Health Service
Trump nominee for appeals court seen as favorable to tribal interests
>>> 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.