Center for Health Journalism

Native Americans: A Health Snapshot

Useful Resources

Native Americans: A Health Snapshot

October 03, 2008

This racial group includes any of the original peoples of North, South and Central America who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment. The five leading causes of death among American Indians and Alaska Natives are heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, diabetes and chronic liver disease/cirrhosis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities. Native Americans suffer disproportionately high rates of obesity, infant mortality, mental health problems and substance abuse. In 2008, an estimated 4.8 million people were classified as American Indian or Alaska Native (alone or in combination with one or more other races), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. About one third of American Indians live on reservations or other trust lands. The federal Indian Health Service is charged with meeting the health needs of 562 federally recognized tribes residing on reservations. Indians who live elsewhere have limited or no access to these services; many have difficulty accessing health care because of lack of insurance. Other factors that contribute to poor health care include geographic isolation and poverty. Many Native Americans rely on traditional healing practices. Updated February 2010

CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY

Member Activities

Jacob Lineberry joined the community

Connect with Jacob Lineberry

Ryan White has shared a blog post

Read it.

Alex Kacik has shared a fellowship project

Read it.

Anna Romano has shared a blog post

Read it.

Kim Belshe joined the community

Connect with Kim Belshe
More Member Activities

Follow Us

Facebook


Twitter

CHJ Icon
ReportingHealth