Health Promotion Among Diverse Populations Essay

1720 words - 7 pages

Health Promotion in American Indians/Alaska Natives
Mona Reed
Grand Canyon University: NRS-429V
August 02, 2015

Health Promotion in American Indians/Alaska Natives
American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) are people who maintain a tribal or community attachment and are descendants from any of the original inhabitants of North, South and Central America. The U.S. Census Bureau, in 2013, reported that there are greater than 5.2 million AI/AN in the United States, and that number is expected to increase to 11.2 million by 2060 (CDC, 2015a).
AI/ANs have experienced a lower health status when compared to the national average of the non-Hispanic white population. The Indian Health Service ...view middle of the document...

Eighty-two percent of AI/ANs had at least a high school education in 2012, as compared to non-Hispanic whites with 92%. In addition, 17% had obtained a bachelor’s degree and 6% had obtained advanced graduate degrees, in comparison to 33% and 12% for the non-Hispanic white population (OMH, 2015b).
Based on the National Health Interview Survey in 2012, 14.3% of AI/AN persons of all ages are in fair or poor health, while this decreases to 9.6% for the white, non-Hispanic population. In the AI/AN population, the three leading causes of death were cancer, heart disease and unintentional injuries. Heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory diseases ranked as the top three in the non-Hispanic white population (Adams, Kirzinger, & Martinez, 2013).
Of the top three leading causes of death in the AI/AN population, The Office of Minority Health website (2015b) reports that AI/AN men and women generally have lower cancer rates than Caucasians. However, during the 2005-2009 reporting period, AI/AN men were twice as likely as Caucasians to have liver and inflammatory bowel disease. Stomach cancer was noted to be 1.6 times higher, and the rate of death twice as likely. AI/AN women were 2.8 times more likely to have, and twice as likely to die from liver and IBD cancer as Caucasian women, and 40% more likely to have kidney/renal pelvis cancer.
On average, AI/ANs have more heart disease than Caucasians due to having higher risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and current cigarette smoking. An article in the journal, Circulation (The American Heart Association [AHA], 2014), noted that the obesity rate (based on self-reports) for AI/AN was 46.5% versus 27.9% in Caucasians. In the 2005 CDC report on Heart Disease and Stroke Among American Indians and Alaska Natives, (Casper et al., 2005) stated that the national prevalence for high blood pressure among the AI/AN population was 26% for women and 29% for men. Additional information obtained from Circulation (2014) noted that the rates for current cigarette smoking were 25.7% in AI/AN men and 16.7% women, compared to 21.7% for Caucasian men and 18.7% women.
Murphy et al., (2014) reported that during 1990-2009, the rate of unintentional injury deaths in the AI/AN population was 2.4 times higher than the Caucasian population. Unintentional death injuries were those occurring from motor vehicle crashes (MVC), poisonings and falls. MVCs were the cause of the largest number, likely due to low restraint use (55% compared to 75% overall in the United States), and alcohol impairment. The AI/AN population have the highest death rate in motor vehicle crashes compared to all minority/ethnic populations.
Cultural values that affect behavior, attitude and beliefs must be considered in the efforts to improve the health of the AI/AN. In a presentation on health care beliefs and practices, the Director of Public Health for the National Indian Health Board presented some...

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