Native Americans: traditional healing.


There are an estimated 4.1 million people who are classified as American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination with one or more other races. This racial group composes 1.5% of the total U.S. population. The leading causes of illness and death among American Indians are heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries (accidents), diabetes, and stroke. American Indians also have a high prevalence of obesity, chronic renal failure, alcoholism, and are at increased risk for mental health issues and suicide. In an effort to build a trusted relationship with these patients and become an active participant in their care, the health care provider must demonstrate respect for the traditions of the American Indian.