The Asian-specific 9-bp deletion between the genes for mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase II and lysine transfer RNA has been used to trace aboriginal human movements out of Southeast Asia and into portions of the South Pacific. Although it has been used to estimate the number of independent lineages that occur in the New World, it has not been studied in native peoples of the Beringian region. Thus, we have used PCR to amplify and compare the lengths of DNA segments surrounding this deletion in native peoples of Beringia and the adjacent regions, as well as natives of the Altai Mountains of Southwestern Siberia. Of the 176 individuals analyzed here, the deletion was found in only 3 of 25 individuals from the Ust-Kan region of the Altai Mountains. We comment on the distribution of this marker and on potential relationships between Beringians and other Native American groups in which this marker has been surveyed. One Chukchi possessed three copies of the 9-bp sequence, which suggests (1) that the number of copies of this sequence in humans may be more variable than had been believed and (2) that a mechanism of replication based on tandem duplication may be a potential explanation for the origin of this length mutation in humans.
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The debate on health care reform in the United States has been greatly influenced by various national studies showing a strong relationship between lack of public or private health care coverage and inadequate access to health services. There is also much concern about deficiencies in the availability and delivery of services to certain population groups--especially for those living in the most remote and sparsely populated areas of the country. However, national studies have generally not demonstrated that the use of health services is strongly associated with urban/rural residence or the supply of medical providers. In this study, we show that national studies can obscure the problems of certain population groups including American Indians and Alaska Natives. Using data from the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey, the findings show that the availability of medical providers as well as place of residence were strongly associated with the use of health care by American Indians and Alaska Natives. Although American Indians and Alaska Natives included in this study were eligible to receive health care free of charge from the Indian Health Service (IHS), financial factors were also significantly associated with use due to the use of services other than those provided or sponsored by IHS. Also, the results show that while geographic and supply factors have only modest effects on the average travel time to medical providers for the U.S. population as a whole, travel times are dramatically longer for American Indians and Alaska Natives living in rural areas and where there are few medical providers. In addition, there appear to be fewer hospitalizations in areas where there are IHS outpatient services. We conclude by discussing the need for health care reform to take into account the diversity of a large country such as the U.S., and the special needs of population groups that are usually not adequately represented in national studies.
Total, as well as free, T4 and T3 levels were obtained over four seasons for young male infantry soldiers assigned to interior Alaska. Significant seasonal variations were found in both T3 and T4. Total T4 and T3 levels were highest in winter, while free T4 and T3 levels were highest in early spring. Correlations with melatonin levels from a concurrent study showed an association between late day (17.00) mean spot melatonin levels during the preceding summer and T3 levels in winter and spring. Differences in seasonal T4 and T3 levels between indigenous and newly arrived people in the sub-Arctic may be related not only to cold acclimation but also to light.
This study examined associations between alcohol misuse and childhood maltreatment and out-of-home placement among urban lesbian, gay, and bisexual (referred to as two-spirit) American Indian and Alaska Native adults. In a multi-site study, data were obtained from 294 individuals who consumed alcohol during the past year. The results indicated that 72.3% of men and 62.4% of women engaged in hazardous and harmful alcohol use and 50.8% of men and 48.7% of women met criteria for past-year alcohol dependence. The most common types of childhood maltreatment were physical abuse among male drinkers (62.7%) and emotional abuse (71.8%) among female drinkers. Men and women reported high percentages of out-of-home placement (39% and 47%, respectively). Logistic multiple regressions found that for male drinkers boarding school attendance and foster care placement were significant predictors of past-year alcohol dependence. For female drinkers, being adopted was significantly associated with a decreased risk of past-year drinking binge or spree. Dose-response relationships, using number of childhood exposures as a predictor, were not significant. The results highlight the need for alcohol and violence prevention and intervention strategies among urban two-spirit individuals.
The appropriateness of the Draw-A-Person test with Alaskan Native populations was assessed by matching 33 White subjects to 33 Alaskan Native subjects, asking them to perform the DAP, and rating their performance according to eight criteria chosen for their clinical relevancy. Results indicated that neither level of commitment to Native culture nor ethnicity per se affected drawing ratings. It is hypothesized that the DAP is a useful clinical tool appropriate for use with Alaskan Native populations.
Arctic peoples today find themselves on the front line of rapid environmental change brought about by globalizing forces, shifting climates, and destabilizing physical conditions. The weather is not the only thing undergoing rapid change here. Social climates are intrinsically connected to physical climates, and changes within each have profound effects on the daily life, health, and well-being of circumpolar indigenous peoples. This paper describes a collaborative effort between university researchers and community members from five indigenous communities in the circumpolar north aimed at comparing the experiences of indigenous Arctic youth in order to come up with a shared model of indigenous youth resilience. The discussion introduces a sliding scale model that emerged from the comparative data analysis. It illustrates how a "sliding scale" of resilience captures the inherent dynamism of youth strategies for "doing well" and what forces represent positive and negative influences that slide towards either personal and communal resilience or vulnerability. The model of the sliding scale is designed to reflect the contingency and interdependence of resilience and vulnerability and their fluctuations between lowest and highest points based on timing, local situation, larger context, and meaning.
In the present study, the Anxiety Sensitivity Index [ASI; Behav. Res. Ther. 24 (1986) 1] was administered to 282 American Indian and Alaska Native college students in a preliminary effort to: (a) evaluate the factor structure and internal consistency of the ASI in a sample of Native Americans; (b) examine whether this group would report greater levels of anxiety sensitivity and gender and age-matched college students from the majority (Caucasian) culture lesser such levels; and (c) explore whether gender differences in anxiety sensitivity dimensions varied by cultural group (Native American vs. Caucasian). Consistent with existing research, results of this investigation indicated that, among Native peoples, the ASI and its subscales had high levels of internal consistency, and a factor structure consisting of three lower-order factors (i.e. Physical, Psychological, and Social Concerns) that all loaded on a single higher-order (global Anxiety Sensitivity) factor. We also found that these Native American college students reported significantly greater overall ASI scores as well as greater levels of Psychological and Social Concerns relative to counterparts from the majority (Caucasian) culture. There were no significant differences detected for ASI physical threat concerns. In regard to gender, we found significant differences between males and females in terms of total and Physical Threat ASI scores, with females reporting greater levels, and males lesser levels, of overall anxiety sensitivity and greater fear of physical sensations; no significant differences emerged between genders for the ASI Psychological and Social Concerns dimensions. These gender differences did not vary by cultural group, indicating they were evident among Caucasian and Native Americans alike. We discuss the results of this investigation in relation to the assessment of anxiety sensitivity in American Indians and Alaska Natives, and offer directions for future research with the ASI in Native peoples.
To determine the relationship between depression and diabetes management among urban American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs).
Retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of medical records.
33 Urban Indian Health Organizations that participated in the Indian Health Service Diabetes Care and Outcomes Audit.
3,741 AI/AN patient records.
Diabetes management outcomes, including HbA1c, smoking, BMI, systolic blood pressure, creatinine, total cholesterol, and receipt of preventive services.
Individuals with depression and diabetes were 1.5 times more likely to smoke than individuals with diabetes but without depression (OR=1.51; 95% Cl: 1.23, 1.86), controlling for age, sex, and facility. After adjustment, the geometric mean BMI in diabetes patients with depression was 3% higher than in patients without depression (ß=.034; 95% CI: .011, .057).
Urban AI/ANs with diabetes and depression are more likely to smoke and have higher BMI than those with diabetes but without depression. These findings inform programmatic efforts to address the care of patients with both depression and diabetes.
Atherosclerosis is thought to be a disease of modern human beings and related to contemporary lifestyles. However, its prevalence before the modern era is unknown. We aimed to evaluate preindustrial populations for atherosclerosis.
We obtained whole body CT scans of 137 mummies from four different geographical regions or populations spanning more than 4000 years. Individuals from ancient Egypt, ancient Peru, the Ancestral Puebloans of southwest America, and the Unangan of the Aleutian Islands were imaged. Atherosclerosis was regarded as definite if a calcified plaque was seen in the wall of an artery and probable if calcifications were seen along the expected course of an artery.
Probable or definite atherosclerosis was noted in 47 (34%) of 137 mummies and in all four geographical populations: 29 (38%) of 76 ancient Egyptians, 13 (25%) of 51 ancient Peruvians, two (40%) of five Ancestral Puebloans, and three (60%) of five Unangan hunter gatherers (p=NS). Atherosclerosis was present in the aorta in 28 (20%) mummies, iliac or femoral arteries in 25 (18%), popliteal or tibial arteries in 25 (18%), carotid arteries in 17 (12%), and coronary arteries in six (4%). Of the five vascular beds examined, atherosclerosis was present in one to two beds in 34 (25%) mummies, in three to four beds in 11 (8%), and in all five vascular beds in two (1%). Age at time of death was positively correlated with atherosclerosis (mean age at death was 43 [SD 10] years for mummies with atherosclerosis vs 32  years for those without; p