BACKGROUND: Breast cancer incidence and mortality have been increasing among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women, and their survival rate is the lowest of all racial/ethnic groups. Nevertheless, knowledge of AI/AN women's breast cancer screening practices and their correlates is limited. METHODS: Using the 2003 California Health Interview Survey, we 1) compared the breast cancer screening practices of AI/AN women to other groups and 2) explored the association of several factors known or thought to influence AI/AN women's breast cancer screening practices. FINDINGS: Compared with other races, AI/AN women had the lowest rate of mammogram screening (ever and within the past 2 years). For clinical breast examination receipt, Asian women had the lowest rate, followed by AI/AN women. Factors associated with AI/AN women's breast cancer screening practices included older age, having a high school diploma or some college education, receipt of a Pap test within the past 3 years, and having visited a doctor within the past year. CONCLUSION: Significant differences in breast cancer screening practices were noted between races, with AI/AN women often having significantly lower rates. Integrating these epidemiologic findings into effective policy and practice requires additional applied research initiatives.
Nationally, a greater proportion of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) are diagnosed with advanced-stage cancers compared with non-Hispanic whites. The reasons for observed differences in stage at diagnosis between AI/ANs and non-Hispanic whites remain unclear.
Medicaid, Indian Health Service Care Systems, and state cancer registry data for California, Oregon, and Washington (2001-2008, analyzed in 2014-2015) were linked to identify AI/ANs and non-Hispanic whites diagnosed with invasive breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, or prostate cancer. Logistic regression was used to estimate ORs and 95% CIs for distant disease versus local or regional disease, in AI/ANs compared with non-Hispanic white case patients.
A similar proportion of AI/AN (31.2%) and non-Hispanic white (35.5%) patients were diagnosed with distant-stage cancer in this population (AOR=1.03, 95% CI=0.88, 1.20). No significant differences in stage at diagnosis were found for any individual cancer site. Among AI/ANs, Indian Health Service Care Systems eligibility was not associated with stage at diagnosis.
In contrast to the general population of the U.S., among Medicaid enrollees, AI/AN race is not associated with later stage at diagnosis. Cancer survival disparities associated with AI/AN race that have been observed in the broader population may be driven by factors associated with income and health insurance that are also associated with race, as income and insurance status are more homogenous within the Medicaid population than within the broader population.
The accuracy of infant mortality rates and other indices of the health of populations depends on the consistency of information collected from separate sources (e.g., birth and death certificates). Inconsistent recording of basic information such as race and ethnicity has resulted in underestimation of mortality among minority populations, particularly minority populations other than blacks. This report summarizes studies in California and Montana that describe and measure the magnitude of differences in the recording of race for American Indians/Alaskan Natives (AI/ANs) on birth and infant death certificates.
The cost of smoking has been explored for residents of the U.S. living in several states. Recent evidence has indicated that the prevalence and cost of smoking are associated with racial and ethnic groups. This study provides information on tobacco prevention and control for American Indians (AI) (American Indians refers to American Indians and Alaska Natives throughout this article. Where we use the term California tribe we specifically mean persons who are members of Indigenous tribes geographically located in the geographic area now known as the state of California.) and examines the relative impact of smoking by using behavioral and demographic characteristics in order to predict the economic cost on AIs. The analysis suggests that AIs smoke more frequently than other Californians, which results in higher health care costs, as well as morbidity and mortality due to high levels of tobacco related chronic disease. Based on these factors we urge tribes to exercise their sovereignty as governments and implement local tobacco control policy strategies. We call for public health action by community leaders in Indian country and nationwide. We must act now to protect future generations.
OBJECTIVES: To examine the effects of proposed methods of redistributing multiple-race mothers to single-race categories when computing trend data from birth certificates. METHODS: Low birthweight and multiple (twin and higher-order) birth rates for California were calculated for non-Hispanic mothers from birth certificate data for 2000. Births to the 1.9% of mothers identified as multiple-race were reassigned to single-race groups according to 12 "bridging" methods. Bridge methods utilized population-based whole allocation, fractional allocation, and other methods, primarily depending on first race listed. RESULTS: For large race groups, there was little difference in low birthweight and multiple birth rates regardless of the bridge method employed. For smaller groups such as Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders and American Indians/Alaska Natives, there was substantial variation by bridge method in observed rates. CONCLUSIONS: Tracking trends in birth outcomes across the change in data collection will challenge public health researchers. This paper outlines advantages and disadvantages of various bridge methods.