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Medical News & Perspectives
January 9, 2018

Why Are American Indians Dying Young?

JAMA. 2018;319(2):109-111. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.10122

A 2017 report funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) painted a grim picture of early deaths among American Indians. The analysis, published in The Lancet, found that while premature mortality rates decreased in blacks, Hispanics, and Asians and Pacific Islanders between 1999 and 2014, the rates increased among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) and whites during the same time period. Between 2011 and 2014, AI/ANs had the highest premature mortality rates in the United States, driven mainly by accidental deaths—primarily drug overdoses—chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, and suicide.

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