Utah American Indians Have Higher Rates of Some Chronic Health Conditions Than General Population, Report Finds
American Indians in Utah are more likely than others in the state to have chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma, according to a state Department of Health report released on Thursday, the AP/Provo Daily Herald reports. The report is the latest in a the department is releasing examining minority health disparities. American Indians represent about 1.7% of the state population.
The report -- which is based on a compilation of mail and phone surveys and birth and death records -- found that in Utah:
- More than 11% of American Indians have diabetes, compared with an average of about 6% for the general population;
- American Indians are nearly twice as likely as others to die of complications related to diabetes;
- About 21% smoke, roughly twice the statewide rate;
- More than 16% are uninsured, compared with 11% statewide;
- 43% have inadequate prenatal care;
- The poverty rate among American Indians is three times higher than the general population; and
- American Indians have lower rates of physical activity than other groups.
April Bennett, a state multicultural health specialist, said the state plans to conduct additional minority health studies, which will focus on mental health, substance use and infectious diseases. "The ultimate goal is to call attention to problems specific to the community," she said (Stark, AP/Provo Daily Herald, 3/19).
The report is available online (.pdf). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.