Essay on Diabetes Related Mortality Among American Indians And Alaska Natives

Essay on Diabetes Related Mortality Among American Indians And Alaska Natives

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The article “Diabetes-related mortality among American Indians and Alaska Natives, 1990-2009” by Cho et al, is a research article that focuses on the diabetes health disparity in American Indians and Alaskan Natives (AI/AN). The study assessed diabetes-related mortality in the AI/AN and compared the findings to American non-Hispanic white population. The studies results indicated that AI/AN were 2.5 to 3.5 times more likely than the non-Hispanic white population to have diabetes as a cause of death. Thankfully, strides have been made to combat the prevalence of diabetes in AI/AN communities.

Diabetes is disproportionately affecting minority groups across the United States.1 Of the minority groups affected by diabetes, American Indians and Alaskan Natives (AI/AN) are where they are more than twice as likely to develop diabetes than their non-Hispanic white population.1 Diabetes is more prevalent amount the AI/AN population and on average AI/AN develop diabetes at a much younger age than other populations.1 This results in the the AI/AN population being more vulnerable to complications that are brought on by diabetes.1

Cho et al’s methods used in determining the AI/AN diabetes-related mortality was to use the American Indian and American Native Mortality Database (AMD) and then restrict that database to only include non-Hispanic AI/AN.1 The non-Hispanic white population was then used as a reference point as they are the most homogeneous among American racial groups.1
Cho et al’s results indicated that diabetes, as an underlying cause of death (COD), was 3.62 times higher in AI/AN individuals than in the non-Hispanic white population; and diabetes as a multiple COD, was 2.63 times...

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... by the Indian Health Service (IHS), in order to help reduce diabetes incidence rates in AI/ANs.3 This program, which first started in 2008, focuses on lifestyle interventions.3 The primary goal of the lifestyle interventions was weight reduction through healthy eating and increased physical activity in the AI/AN community.3 Since this program is relatively new, only time will tell if it can make a significant impact on the AI/AN struggle with diabetes-related mortality.

While progress has been made, there is still much work to be done in helping the AI/AN communities. Our government has made a good start in assisting the AI/AN communities with the SDPI-DP program. Hopefully the SDPI-DP program and other actions and assistance, will one day led to diabetes and diabetes-related mortality being no longer a health related disparity among AI/AN populations.

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