New Report Provides Health Data and Resources for Maryland’s American Indian and Alaska Native Community

Baltimore, MD (July 24, 2013) — The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has released a new report, “American Indians and Alaska Natives in Maryland: Health Data and Resources,” the third in a series to raise awareness of health conditions and provide educational resources for minority populations in the state.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010 there were 20,420 persons in Maryland who reported American Indian or Alaska Native as their only race, which comprised 0.4 percent of the State’s population (an increase of 32 percent from 2000). There were 58,657 Marylanders who reported American Indian or Alaska Native as some part of their racial heritage (1.0 percent of the State’s population in 2010, an increase of 49 percent from 2000).

Data highlights from the report reveal troubling disparities in health and health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives in Maryland:
  • American Indian or Alaska Natives in Maryland were less likely to have private health insurance, more likely to have public health insurance, and more likely to be without any health insurance, compared to all Marylanders.
  • The HIV incidence rate for Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Natives was twice that of the Non-Hispanic Whites in Maryland.
  • American Indians 75 years old or older had the highest incidence of End Stage Renal Disease across all racial groups in Maryland.
  •  American Indians’ infant mortality rate was about twice that of the Whites in Maryland for the years 2006-2010 combined.
  • The percentage of low birth weight infants was 1.4 times higher for American Indian or Alaska Native than for Whites in Maryland for the years 2010-2011 combined.
“A critical step towards addressing health disparities is understanding them," said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "This knowledge helps us to better support effective community health efforts."

The Department recently released reports on Maryland’s Hispanic population and the Asian and Pacific Islander population.

“We are pleased to release these reports to provide greater information on the racial and ethnic groups in the state," said Dr. Carlessia Hussein, Director of the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities. "Work is underway to develop and release a report on African American health data and resources."

For information about the work of the DHMH Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, visit http://dhmh.maryland.gov/mhhd. To read and download these new data reports, visit http://dhmh.maryland.gov/mhhd/SitePages/Health%20Equity%20Data.aspx.

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