Health Disparities

American Indians and Alaska Natives are disproportionately affected by many chronic conditions, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke, as well as unintentional injuries (accidents). American Indians and Alaska Natives also have a high prevalence and risk factors for mental health and suicide, obesity, substance use, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), teenage pregnancy, liver disease, and hepatitis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • American Indian/Alaska Native adults are almost three times more likely than non-Hispanic white adults to be diagnosed with diabetes.
  • American Indian/Alaska Native mothers are almost three times as likely to receive late or no prenatal care as compared to non-Hispanic white mothers.
  • American Indians/Alaska Natives are:
    • 50 percent more likely to be diagnosed with coronary heart disease than their white counterparts.
    • 60 percent more likely to experience the feeling that everything is an effort, all or most of the time, as compared to non-Hispanic whites.
    • More than twice as likely to have no health insurance coverage.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also disproportionately affected AI/AN populations across the country. CDC data shows that, compared to non-Hispanic whites, American Indians and Alaska Natives are:

  • Nearly twice as likely to contract COVID-19
  • Over three times as likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 infection
  • Over twice as likely to die from COVID-19 infection

Visit OMH’s AI/AN Population Profile to learn more about the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

COVID-19 Resources

Visit the resources listed below to learn about ways to help reduce the occurrence of COVID-19 and promote better health for American Indian/Alaska Native populations: