Cardiovascular disease and risk factors in Montana American Indians and non-Indians.


Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for both American Indian and non-Indian adults. Few published studies have compared the prevalence of CVD and related risk factors in Indians to that in non-Indians in the same geographic area.Objective: To compare CVD and risk factors in American Indian and non-Indian populations in Montana. Methods: Adult American Indians (n=1000) living on or near Montana's seven reservations and non-Indian (n=905) Montanans statewide were interviewed through the 1999 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS).Results: Indians aged >/=45 years reported a significantly higher prevalence of CVD compared to non-Indians (18% vs 10%). In persons aged 18-44 years, Indians were more likely to report hypertension (15% vs 10%), obesity (29% vs 12%), and smoking (42% vs 24%) compared to non-Indians. For persons aged >/=45 years, Indians reported higher rates of diabetes (24% vs 9%), obesity (38% vs 16%), and smoking (32% vs 13%) compared to non-Indians. Non-Indians aged >/=45 years reported having been diagnosed with high cholesterol more frequently than did Indians (32% vs 24%).Conclusions: Both Indians and non-Indians in Montana reported a substantial burden of CVD. The CVD risk patterns differ in the two populations. Prevention programs should be tailored to the risk burdens in these communities with particular emphasis on smoking cessation and the prevention of obesity.

Location Description: 

Montana MT