Urban American Indians Have Higher Rate of Health Problems

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, March 5, 2008

An Urban Indian Health Institute survey shows Native Americans living in cities are at a much higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and premature death than non-Indians.

There are 34 urban Indian health centers around the country. And about thirty percent of those are in California.

Sacramento Native American Health Center executive director Britta Guerrero says federal support is lacking for these facilities.

Guerrero: “We only make up one percent of the Indian health budget. And, that one percent serves a lot of off reservation people.”

Guerrero says about 70 percent of Indians live in urban areas. The US Senate recently passed a bill to boost funding for Native American clinics. It now needs the House and the President’s approval.