American Indians/Alaska Natives

Chronic diseases - Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death among American Indians and Alaska Natives. The prevalence of diabetes is more than twice that for all adults in the United States, and the mortality rate from chronic liver disease is more than twice as high, according to 2002 data.

Infant mortality - The infant mortality rate among American Indians and Alaska Native are 1.7 times higher than non-Hispanic whites. The sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) rate among this minority is the highest of any population group, more than double that of whites in 1999.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) - In 2001, the syphilis rate among AI/AN was 6 times higher than the syphilis rate among the non-Hispanic white population, the Chlamydia rate was 5.5 times higher, the gonorrhea rate was 4 times higher and the AIDS rate was 1.5 times higher.

Injuries - Unintentional injuries are the third leading cause of AI/AN death and the leading cause for age 1-44 years. AI/AN death rates for unintentional injuries and motor vehicle crashes are 1.7 to 2.0 times higher than the rates for all racial/ethnic populations, while suicide rates for AI/AN youth are 3 times greater than rates for whites of similar age.

A 2010 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics compared national estimates for selected health status indicators, health behaviors, healthcare utilization, health conditions, immunizations and human immunodeficiency virus testing status for American Indian or Alaska Native adults with those for white, black, Asian, and Hispanic adults age 18 and older.

Compared with other groups, non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native adults are more likely to have poorer health, unmet medical needs due to cost, diabetes, trouble hearing and activity limitations, and to have experienced feelings of psychological distress in the past 30 days. Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native adults are more likely to be current smokers and current drinkers compared with other adults.