Suicide rates in Alaska Native elders are studied to further explore cultural factors in elderly suicide. Data for the 1960s and 1970s are reviewed, and new data on Alaska Native suicide rates are presented for the 10-year period of 1985 through 1994. In many areas throughout the world, suicide rates are the highest for the elderly. During the Alaska "oil boom," suicide rates more than tripled for the general population but decreased to zero for Alaska Native elders. Cultural teachings from the society's elders were more important during this time of culture upheaval. During the study period, the cultural changes dissipated, and suicide rates for Alaska Native elders, although lower than those of White Alaskans, increased. This provides further evidence that suicide rates for elders can be influenced by social factors--both to raise to lower rates.
BACKGROUND: Antenatal depression is potentially deleterious to the mother and baby. Canadian Aboriginal women have an increased risk for living in poverty, family violence, and substance use; however, little is known about antenatal depression in this group. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and correlates of depression in socially high-risk, mostly Aboriginal pregnant women. METHODS: Women (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal), in two prenatal outreach programmes were approached and depressive symptoms between the two groups were compared, using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). RESULTS: Sixty per cent (n = 402) of potential participants were recruited for the study. The prevalence of depression was 29.5% (n = 402). Depression was associated with a history of depression, mood swings, increased stressors, current smoker, and lack of social support. Aboriginal women were more likely to be depressed, but this was not significantly higher than non-Aboriginal women; however, they did experience significantly more self-harm thoughts. Exercise was a significant mediator for depression. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of antenatal depression confirms rates in other high-risk, ethnic minority groups of women. A previous history of depression and mood problems were associated with depression, thus prenatal care should include a careful mental health assessment. On a positive note, the present study suggests that exercise may mediate antenatal depression.
Information on arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders among Aboriginal people is sparse. Survey data show that arthritis and rheumatism are among the most commonly reported chronic conditions and their prevalence is higher than among non-Aboriginal people.
To describe the burden of arthritis among Aboriginal people in northern Canada and demonstrate the public health significance and social impact of the disease.
Using cross-sectional data from more than 29 000 Aboriginal people aged 15 years and over who participated in the Aboriginal Peoples Survey 2006, we assessed regional differences in the prevalence of arthritis and its association with other risk factors, co-morbidity and health care use.
The prevalence of arthritis in the three northern territories ("North") is 12.7% compared to 20.1% in the provinces ("South") and is higher among females than males in both the North and South. The prevalence among Inuit is lower than among other Aboriginal groups. Individuals with arthritis are more likely to smoke, be obese, have concurrent chronic diseases, and are less likely to be employed. Aboriginal people with arthritis utilized the health care system more often than those without the disease.
Aboriginal-specific findings on arthritis and other chronic diseases as well as recognition of regional differences between North and South will enhance program planning and help identify new priorities in health promotion.
Associations of behavioral health risks and healthy behaviors with self-reported health-related quality of life measures were investigated in a Northern Plains American Indian sample. Participants were surveyed in person using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. The results showed that regular physical activity was significantly associated with better self-reported overall health, fewer mentally unhealthy and activity limitation days in the past 30 days, and with a greater number of good health days.
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.
Data relative to breast cancer among American Indian and Alaska native (AI/AN) women are limited and vary by regions. Despite national decreases in breast cancer incidence and mortality rates, declines in these measures have not yet appeared among AI/AN women. Health disparities in breast cancer persist, manifest by higher stage at diagnosis, and lower screening rates compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Disproportionately more AI/AN are younger at diagnosis. Screening beginning at age 40, improving access, annual rescreening, community education and outreach, and mobile mammography for rural areas are ways to improve these disparities in breast cancer.
This article identifies the extent to which demographic, socio-economic and geographic factors account for differences between Inuit and other Northern Canadian residents in health-related behaviours and health service use related to cancer incidence and diagnosis. The study population includes Inuit, Métis, First Nation and non-Aboriginal residents aged 21-65 who live in Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Labrador, Nunavik and Jamésie in northern Quebec, and the northern regions of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Data are drawn from confidential versions of the 2000-2001 and 2004-2005 Canadian Community Health Surveys and the 2001 Aboriginal People's Survey produced by Statistics Canada. Multivariate Logistic regression analysis is applied to a set of health-related behaviours including cigarette smoking, binge drinking and obesity, and a set of basic health service use measures including consultation with a physician, consultation with a nurse, Pap smear testing and mammography. We found that significantly higher smoking and binge drinking rates and lower rates of female cancer screening among Inuit are found not to be accounted for by differences in observable demographic and socio-economic characteristics, location of residence or distance from a hospital. As such we conclude that health-related behaviours leading to increased cancer risk and to a lower utilization of diagnostic cancer screening appear to be due to unobserved factors specific to Inuit and their unique social-cultural context. Policy interventions to address these problems may need to be targeted specifically to Inuit Canadians and should not be considered in isolation of their broader health, economic and social environment.
The International Polar Year (IPY) Inuit Health Survey provided an opportunity to compare dietary and body mass index (BMI) data with data collected a decade earlier for the same communities.
A dietary survey included 1,929 randomly selected participants aged 15 years or older, selected from 18 Inuit communities in 1998-1999. The IPY survey included 2,595 randomly selected participants aged 18 years or older, selected from 36 Inuit communities in 2007-2008. Data from the same 18 communities included in both surveys were compared for adults 20 years and older.
Twenty-four-hour dietary recall data were analysed to assess the percentage of energy from traditional and market foods by sex and age groups. Body mass index (BMI) was assessed to establish the prevalence of obesity by sex and age groups in both surveys.
There was a significant decrease (p=0.05) in energy contribution from traditional food and a significant increase in market food consumption over time. Sugar-sweetened beverages, chips and pasta all increased as percentages of energy. BMI increased overall for women and for each age stratum evaluated (p
Comment In: Int J Circumpolar Health. 2011;70(5):447-922208994
Comment In: Int J Circumpolar Health. 2011;70(5):444-622208993
The census-enumerated American Indian population dispersed rapidly between 1930 and 1990. Changes in ethnic classification account for most of the change. In the 1980 count, 10 states with historically large Indian populations account for 53% of births of Indians between the ages of 10 and 80, compared with 72% of the first enumerations of the same cohorts. Migration further reduced the share of these states to 46% of Indian residents in these cohorts. Study of the dispersal of the Indian population should focus primarily on the new emergence of the expression of Indian identity, rather than on migration from former population centers.
Inuit in Canada currently suffer from one of the highest rates of suicide in the world. The objective of this study was to explore the prevalence of suicide ideations and attempts among 15-24 year olds living in Nunavik, Québec, and to explore risk and protective factors of suicide attempts as a function of gender. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2004 across Nunavik. Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were conducted. A total of 22% of young males and 39% of females adults reported past suicidal attempts. Gender differences were observed in relation to associated risk and protective factors as well as degree of exposure to risk factors. Suicide prevention must include alcohol and drug prevention programs and rehabilitation services, interventions to reduce physical and sexual violence and their long-term impacts on Inuit youth, as well as exposure to culturally meaningful activities.