Health Disparities Among American Indians/Alaska Natives - Arizona, 2017.


Compared with other racial/ethnic groups, American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) have a lower life expectancy, lower quality of life, and are disproportionately affected by many chronic conditions (1,2). Arizona has the third largest population of AI/AN in the United States (approximately 266,000 in 2017), and is home to 22 federally recognized American Indian tribal nations.* The small AI/AN sample size in previous Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys has presented analytic challenges in making statistical inferences about this population. To identify health disparities among AI/AN living in Arizona, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and CDC analyzed data from the 2017 BRFSS survey, for which AI/AN were oversampled. Compared with whites, AI/AN had significantly higher prevalences of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (33.0% versus 26.8%), being overweight or having obesity (76.7% versus 63.2%), diabetes (21.4% versus 8.0%), high blood pressure (32.9% versus 27.6%), report of fair or poor health status (28.7% versus 16.3%), and leisure-time physical inactivity during the past month (31.1% versus 23.0%). AI/AN also reported a lower prevalence of having a personal doctor or health care provider (63.1%) than did whites (72.8%). This report highlights the need to enhance surveillance measures at the local, state, and national levels and can inform interventions centered on confronting social inequities, developing culturally competent prevention strategies, and facilitating access to care to improve population health and work toward health equity.

Location Description: 

Southwestern United States; Arizona AZ