Addressing U.S. American Indians (Native Americans)/Alaska Natives and Diabetes

Addressing U.S. American Indians (Native Americans)/Alaska Natives and Diabetes

The mortality rate for American Indians, which includes Alaska Natives (Native Americans), has increased primarily because of the effects of type 2 diabetes. The Indian Health Service has provided the Special Diabetes Program for Indians, resulting in increased spending for health care; however, the rate for age-adjusted deaths has increased as compared with white Americans.

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Infectious diseases are decreasing, while chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, are increasing in this population. Data collected were mainly from Navaho Indians living in the western part of the United States. Other major health issues include obesity, cardiovascular diseases, smoking, and hypertension. Also discussed was the high rate of sedentary lifestyles as compared with much greater daily physical activities historically.

Questions to be addressed in your paper:

  1. Create a culturally congruent plan for reduction of exceptionally high levels of type 2 diabetes among American Indians/Alaska Natives.
  2. As compared with whites, why do American Indians have higher levels of increased smoking, obesity, and sedentary lifestyles, which contribute to the type 2 diabetes rates?
  3. Why is the Indian Health Service an important part of health care that is historically “owed” to American Indians/Alaska Natives?

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