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Indigenous/First Nations Health Care: Health and Health Care Disparities

Indigenous/First Nations Health Disparities

From the U.S. Indian Health Service website:

"The American Indian and Alaska Native people have long experienced lower health status when compared with other Americans. Lower life expectancy and the disproportionate disease burden exist perhaps because of inadequate education, disproportionate poverty, discrimination in the delivery of health services, and cultural differences. These are broad quality of life issues rooted in economic adversity and poor social conditions.

Diseases of the heart, malignant neoplasm, unintentional injuries, and diabetes are leading causes of American Indian and Alaska Native deaths (2009-2011).

American Indians and Alaska Natives born today have a life expectancy that is 5.5 years less than the U.S. all races population (73.0 years to 78.5 years, respectively).

American Indians and Alaska Natives continue to die at higher rates than other Americans in many categories, including chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, diabetes mellitus, unintentional injuries, assault/homicide, intentional self-harm/suicide, and chronic lower respiratory diseases."

Elderly Indigenous Peoples Health Care Barriers

Treatment That Works: Diabetes and Kidney Failure Rates

Team-based and population approaches reduce kidney failure from diabetes in Native Americans: can be a model for other groups



Native American adults have more diabetes than any other race or ethnicity.

Whites 8%
Asian Americans 9%
Hispanics 13%
Blacks 13%
Native Americans 16%

SOURCE: National Health Interview Survey and Indian Health Service, 2010-2012.

Kidney failure from diabetes in Native Americans has dropped more than any other race or ethnicity.

Trend graphic comparing kidney failure from diabetes in Native Americans to other groups from 1996 to 2013. In 1996, Native Americans had more kidney failure than blacks, Hispanics, Asians and whites. However, by 2013, Native Americans were third in kidney failure from diabetes despite having the most diabetes.

Improving team-based diabetes care supports kidney disease reductions

Graphic showing the percent of Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) Sites reporting diabetes services in 1997 and 2013. Bars show the percent for each intervention.


(from CDC - Native Americans with Diabetes)

Indigenous Peoples Health Care Resources

Mortality in Native Americans/Alaska Natives

Indigenous Mental Health