Special issue of the American Journal of Public Health reports trends in American Indian and Alaska Native mortality

Date: Apr 24 2014

Contact: For copies of articles, call or email Kimberly Short, 202-777-2511.

Washington, D.C., April 22, 2014 – Researchers and experts explore mortality trends among American Indian and Alaska Native populations in a new issue of the American Journal of Public Health. The special issue presents new data on mortality disparities and patterns, addressing a range of health concerns within Native communities.

 “The challenges of providing health care to American Indian and Alaska Natives in the communities we serve are complex, and many factors contribute to these trends,” Yvette Roubideaux, MD, MPH, and Susan Karol, MD, of the Indian Health Service write in an editorial.

“The data in this supplement help further define the challenges we face as a health care system and further encourage us to work together with the communities we serve to find new solutions.”

Data collected in the issue’s studies address suicide, disparities in death from heart disease and stroke, mortality from infectious disease including influenza and HIV, tobacco-related mortality and a host of other health concerns affecting American Indian and Alaska Native populations. Also included are commentaries suggesting methods of improving mortality data and editorials addressing policy and disparities.

“Ultimately, what a society chooses to measure, and how well, speaks to its values and what it aspires to become. Efforts under way and reflected in the articles contained in this supplement demonstrate renewed attention to the health status of American Indian and Alaskan Native peoples, and, potentially, a shift in values as society makes further progress toward health for all,” editorial authors Ursula Bauer, PhD, MPH, and Marcus Plescia, MD, MPH, conclude.

The issue is a supplement to the Journal’s June issue and is developed with external funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control.

A full listing of papers included in this issue of the American Journal of Public Health can be found below. These articles will be published online April 22, 2014, at 4 p.m. EDT by the American Journal of Public Health® under “First Look.” “First Look” articles have undergone peer review, copyediting and approval by authors but have not yet been printed to paper or posted online by issue. The American Journal of Public Health is published by the American Public Health Association.

Included in this supplement of the American Journal of Public Health:

  • A systematic review of community interventions to improve Aboriginal child passenger safety [Systemic Review]
  • Perspectives on Mortality Data from the Indian Health Service [Editor’s Choice]
  • Addressing disparities in the health of American Indian and Alaskan Native people: The importance of improved public health data [Editorial] 
  • Linkages to improve mortality data for American Indians and Alaska Natives: A new model for death reporting? [Commentary]
  • American Indian Health Policy: Historical Trends and Contemporary Issues [Analytic Essay]
  • Adapting to the effects of climate change on Inuit health [Analytic Essay]
  • Historical trends and regional differences in AI/AN all-cause and amenable mortality since 1950 [Framing Health Matters]
  • Community-Based Surveillance and Case Management for Suicide Prevention: An American Indian Tribally Initiated System [Framing Health Matters]
  • The Public Health Foundation of Health Services for American Indians and Alaska Natives [Public Health Then and Now]
  • Methods for improving the quality and completeness of mortality data for American Indians and Alaska Natives [Research Article]
  • Racial Misclassification of American Indians and Alaska Natives by Indian Health Service Contract Health Service Delivery Area [Research Article]
  • Leading causes of death and all-cause mortality in American Indians and Alaska Natives [Research Article]
  • Period Life Tables for the Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native Population in CHSDA Counties, 2007-2009 [Research Article]
  • American Indian and Alaska Native Infant and Pediatric Mortality, United States, 1999-2009 [Research Article]
  • Suicide among young Alaska Native men: Community risk factors and alcohol control [Research Article]
  • Suicide Mortality Among American Indians and Alaska Natives, 1999-2009 [Research Article]
  • The Alcohol-Attributable Death Rate Disparity between American Indians and Alaska Natives and non-Hispanic Whites in the United States, 1999-2009 [Research Article]
  • Mortality due to Chronic Liver Disease among American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States, 1999-2009 [Research Article]
  • All-Cause, Cardiovascular, and Cancer Mortality in Western Alaska Native People: Western Alaska Tribal Collaborative for Health (WATCH) [Research Article] 
  • Trends and disparities in heart disease mortality among American Indians/Alaska Natives, 1990-2009 [Research Article]
  • Trends and disparities in stroke mortality by region for American Indians and Alaska Natives [Research Article]
  • Disparities in Cancer Mortality and Incidence Among American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States [Research Article]

The American Journal of Public Health ® is the monthly journal of the American Public Health Association. APHA champions the health of all people and all communities by strengthening the profession of public health, sharing the latest research and information, promoting best practices and advocating for public health issues and policies grounded in research.

More information is available at APHA online.

Complimentary online access to the journal is available to credentialed members of the media.  Address inquiries to Kimberly Short at APHA, (202) 777-2511, or via e-mail. A single print issue of the Journal is available for $35 from the Journal’s Subscriptions department. If you are not a member of the press, a member of APHA or a subscriber, online single issue access is $22 and online single article access is $20 available online.

If you would like to order or renew a subscription, visit AJPH online or for direct customer service, call 202-777-2516 or email.

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