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Public Health Rep. 2003 Nov-Dec;118(6):518-30.

Alaska native mortality, 1979-1998.

Author information

1
Office of Alaska Native Health Research, Division of Community Health Services, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA. day747@gci.net

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study compares mortality patterns for the Alaska Native population and the U.S. white population for 1989-1998 and examines trends for the 20-year period 1979-1998.

METHODS:

The authors used death certificate data and Indian Health Service population estimates to calculate mortality rates for the Alaska Native population, age-adjusted to the U.S. 1940 standard million. Data on population and mortality for U.S. whites, aggregated by 10-year age groups and by gender, were obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics, and U.S. white mortality rates were age-adjusted to the U.S. 1940 standard million.

RESULTS:

Overall, 1989-1998 Alaska Native mortality rates were 60% higher than those for the U.S. white population for the same period. There were significant disparities for eight of 10 leading causes of death, particularly unintentional injury, suicide, and homicide/legal intervention. Although declines in injury rates can be documented for the period 1979-1998, large disparities still exist. Alaska Native death rates for cancer, cerebrovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes increased from 1979 to 1998. Given decreases in some cause-specific mortality rates in the U.S. white population, increased rates among Alaska Natives have resulted in new disparities.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data indicate that improvements in injury mortality rates are offset by marked increases in chronic disease deaths.

PMID:
14563909
PMCID:
PMC1497594
DOI:
10.1093/phr/118.6.518
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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