Native American And Native Americans

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Over the past century, many Native American groups have experienced social and environmental change and have had to deal with a variety of contemporary issues. Although Native Americans may be associated with the past due to popular culture, many different American Indian groups are strongly affected by modern issues. For instance, while type II diabetes is a major issue in many communities, it disproportionately affects Native Americans. Beginning in the 20th century, Native American groups have been affected by diabetes, and they are currently one of the populations that are at particularly high risk for developing the disease. American Indians and Alaska Native adults are 2.3 times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as compared to non-Hispanic whites, while youth from ages 10-19 are 9 times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes (“Diabetes…”, 2012). The rates of incidence and prevalence are significantly high in Native American populations. In fact, the Pima Indians of Arizona have the highest reported prevalence of type II diabetes of any population in the world (Acton et al., 2002). Approximately half of adult Pima Indians have type II diabetes, and about 95% of the individuals with diabetes are overweight (“Obesity…”, 2002). This high prevalence rate is due to a variety of factors, including genetics and changes in lifestyle habits from more traditional to more typically Western. Thus, the high rate of diabetes among the Pima Indians can be attributed to social and environmental factors that have arisen as an issue relatively recently, and can hopefully be reduced with preventative intervention programs. First of all, type II diabetes is a chronic disease and the most common form of diabetes, which is a disease in ... ... middle of paper ... ... because it reflects the high rate of the disease among most Native American groups, which can be prevented by a variety of health interventions. Over the past decade, the shift from a more traditional to a more Western lifestyle has led the Pima Indians to adapt a more sedentary lifestyle with a diet consisting of more fats. This has led to an increase in obesity and diabetes among this population. While genetics plays a role in the large prevalence rate among the Pima Indians, social and environmental factors may play a larger role in the prevalence of the disease. Thus, while diabetes disproportionately affects a large amount of Native Americans, it is still a preventable disease. With the new grants provided by the CDC, programs focused on the prevention of the disease can help stop the increase of prevalence rates among the Pima and other Native American groups.
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