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Why the American Indian Community?

For far too long, Native Americans have faced challenging economic, environmental and political conditions that are, in many ways, like those experienced in poor developing countries. AI/AN communities are vastly underserved and impoverished, with widely-documented disparities in health outcomes including:

  • American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the world. The incidence is increasing in these two groups faster than any other ethnic population.
  • Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality among Native Americans with a rising rate that is significantly higher than the rest of the US general population.
  • AI/AN die at higher rates than all other Americans in many categories including chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, tuberculosis, diabetes, lower respiratory diseases, unintentional injuries, and intentional self-harm/ suicide.
  • Rates of AI/AN substance abuse and dependence including binge alcohol are among the highest in the nation.
  • Life expectancy 4.4 years shorter than for the general population in the United States.