A Nationwide Population-Based Study Identifying Health Disparities Between American Indians/Alaska Natives and the General Populations Living in Select Urban Counties

Urban Indian Health Institute, Seattle Indian Health Board, Seattle, WA 98114, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 09/2006; 96(8):1478-84. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.053942
Source: PubMed


Despite their increasing numbers, little is known about the health of American Indians/Alaska Natives living in urban areas. We examined the health status of American Indian/Alaska Native populations served by 34 federally funded urban Indian health organizations.
We analyzed US census data and vital statistics data for the period 1990 to 2000.
Disparities were revealed in socioeconomic, maternal and child health, and mortality indicators between American Indians/Alaska Natives and the general populations in urban Indian health organization service areas and nationwide. American Indians/Alaska Natives were approximately twice as likely as these general populations to be poor, to be unemployed, and to not have a college degree. Similar differences were observed in births among mothers who received late or no prenatal care or consumed alcohol and in mortality attributed to sudden infant death syndrome, chronic liver disease, and alcohol consumption.
We found health disparities between American Indians/Alaska Natives and the general populations living in selected urban areas and nationwide. Such disparities can be addressed through improvements in health care access, high-quality data collection, and policy initiatives designed to provide sufficient resources and a more unified vision of the health of urban American Indians/Alaska Natives.

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