Health of Status of American Indians/Alaskan Native Minority Group Michelle Dennis
Grand Canyon University
Health of Status of American Indians/Alaskan Native Minority Group American Indians and Asian natives are a minority group because they are few; they comprise of about 0.9% of the American population. They are also considered a minority group because of their high poverty rates and poor education levels relative other groups in America (Norris, 2010). These two ethnic groups also have poor health standards from conditions that can be prevented compared to other groups. This is because of the many risks they face and poor accessibility to health care (Cara, 2009). Individual behavior and social factors have also contributed to the poor health conditions among the members of the tribal groups. Diabetes, obesity, and drug-related conditions are the most common health conditions that affect the tribal groups (Cara, 2009). Studies have shown that most of the health problems facing these tribal groups are associated with their behavior; they are at a higher risk of health problems than the rest of the Americans due to poor access to health care, heavy drinking, smoking, and obesity (Gizlice, 2004). The prevalence of smoking is 44.1% among the American Indian population compared to the overall 21.2% for the rest of the United States. The risk posed to these groups is higher than the rest of the Americans (Gizlice, 2004). According to medical practitioners, these groups are at a higher risk of suffering mental disorders than the rest of the Americans. They suffer from depression mostly characterized by distress, worthlessness and suicide cases among other traits. Economic factors are a major contributor to their health disorders. Cases of obesity in minority racial and ethnic groups are brought about by low incomes that lead to consumption of unhealthy foods. Due to the economic problems facing these people, they are not able to afford healthy foods like the rest of the population, and thus their poor, unbalanced diets lead to health complications. Their social activities are also partly to blame for their poor health conditions (Cara, 2009). Access to recreation facilities and exercise is limited and thus leading to the deterioration of their overall physical health and emotional stability. Due to their limited economic abilities, education levels among the groups are low; without the proper knowledge on health, they are at risk of poor health. In a survey conducted in 2004, the two groups were in the bottom quintile in the income pole. Around 30% of the people in the two groups suffered poverty spells for about two months between the years 2004 to 2007. Most of the people in the United States have health insurance coverage. However, only a small percentage of these minority groups have medical insurance (Cara, 2009). Most of them rely on Medicaid and other charity organizations to help them with their health conditions. Lack of medical insurance locks them out of quality medical care. Behavioral traits of the two minority groups also contribute to their health disorders; the American Indians are statistically known to have a high incidence of abusers of drugs. Alcohol abuse is rampant among the two groups with studies showing that at the age of twelve, 21% of teenagers in the minority groups are more likely to have experimented with drugs as compared to less than 10% of the teenagers in the general US population (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). 20% of the adults in the two minority groups require rehabilitation from drug and substance abuse, which is higher than all the other groups in America. A study done between 2002 and 2005 also shows that the use of hard drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and crystal meth were higher among these groups than in the other population in the United States (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). Drug abuse among these minority groups...
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Tina Norris, P. L. (2010). The American Indian and Alaska Native Population: 2010. Washington DC: U.S. Census Bureau.
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