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July 3, 1967


JAMA. 1967;201(1):55. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130010081018

Studies of southwestern American Indians have shown that significant differences exist in disease incidence and health problems in this group when compared with the general population. The majority of southwestern Indians receive their medical care through facilities of the US Public Health Service, and medical information as well as statistical data is available covering a significant cross section of this population.

A recent communication in the Archives of Pathology1 discusses the incidence of diseases at autopsy in southwestern American Indians. The autopsy data cover a five-year interval and represent about one-fifth of all deaths occurring in southwestern Indians during this period.

Several interesting differences in disease incidence were observed. While the overall incidence of malignant disease does not differ from that of the general population, there is a marked difference in distribution by primary site of the neoplasms. The most common primary site of tumor is the gallbladder and