Health-Related Behavioral Risk Factors and Obesity Among American Indians and Alaska Natives of the United States: Assessing Variations by Indian Health Service Region
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Health-Related Behavioral Risk Factors and Obesity Among American Indians and Alaska Natives of the United States: Assessing Variations by Indian Health Service Region

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Prev Chronic Dis
    • Description:
      Introduction

      Health-related behavioral risk factors and obesity are linked to high risk for multiple chronic diseases. We examined the prevalence of these risk factors among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) compared with that of non-Hispanic Whites and across Indian Health Service (IHS) regions.

      Methods

      We used 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data from participants in 50 states and the District of Columbia to assess 4 behavioral risk factors (current cigarette smoking, heavy drinking, binge drinking, and physical inactivity) and obesity. We analyzed disparities in these risk factors between AI/AN and non-Hispanic White participants, nationwide and by IHS region, by conducting log-linear regression analyses while controlling for potential confounders.

      Results

      Nationwide, crude prevalence of current smoking, physical inactivity, and obesity were significantly higher among AI/AN than non-Hispanic White participants. After adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, AI/AN participants were 11% more likely to report current smoking (P < .05) and 23% more likely to report obesity (P < .001) than non-Hispanic White participants. These patterns persisted in most IHS regions with some exceptions. In the Southwest region, AI/AN participants were 39% less likely to report current smoking than non-Hispanic White participants (P < .001). In the Pacific Coast region, compared with non-Hispanic White participants, AI/AN participants were 54% less likely to report heavy drinking (P < .01) but 34% more likely to report physical inactivity (P < .05). Across IHS regions, AI/AN participants residing in Alaska and the Northern Plains regions had the highest prevalence of current smoking and binge drinking, and those in the Southwest and Pacific Coast regions had the lowest prevalence of current smoking. AI/AN participants in the Southwest region had the lowest prevalence of physical inactivity, and those in the Southern Plains region had the highest prevalence of obesity.

      Conclusions

      The findings of this study support the importance of public health efforts to address and improve behavioral risk factors related to chronic disease in AI/AN people, both nationwide and among IHS regions, through culturally appropriate interventions.

    • Pubmed ID:
      35085066
    • Pubmed Central ID:
      PMC8794264
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