Native American Maternal and Child Health Crisis: American Indian and Alaskan Native Health Disparities in Ohio


American Indian (AI) and Alaskan Native (AN) populations experience exceptionally poor health outcomes when compared to the general population (Indian Health Service, 2014d). According to the US Census Bureau, in 2012, Native American Indians made up only 0.3% of the population in Ohio and made up 1.2% of the total population in the United States (US Department of Commerce, 2014). Native Americans continue to suffer from many well documented health-related disparities and inequities that have been endured by previous and current generations (Alexander, Wingate, & Boulet, 2008). Quality of life issues related to economic adversity and poor social conditions experienced by the AI/AN population, including lower life expectancy, poorer education, greater level of poverty, discrimination in health care delivery, and cultural differences, illustrate and are related to lower health status and health disparities when compared to other Americans (Indian Health Service, 2014d). The AI/AN people experience lower life expectancy (4.2 years less than US all races), higher rates of many chronic diseases, and mortality rates higher than seen with other Americans from a wide variety of diseases.

Location Description: 

Midwestern United States; Ohio OH