PURPOSE: The health issues which have historically faced American Indians are related to infectious disease, but today many chronic diseases play a large role in the health status of this special population. For example, existing data indicate that American Indians have the poorest cancer survival of any group in the U.S. (34% vs. 50% for U.S. Whites). Regular participation in cancer screening and lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, and alcohol have been found to significantly contribute to cancer risk. However, available information about these behaviors is sparse and suffers from limitations. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of cancer risk behaviors and provider recommendation for cancer screening among urban American Indian women. METHODS: A random household cross-sectional survey was administered to 519 adult American Indian women in Phoenix, Arizona. Smoking and weight status, alcohol consumption, physical activity, and provider referral were assessed by self-report. RESULTS: The results indicate that weight (69.6% were overweight) and excessive alcohol consumption (12.1% reported chronic drinking) were significant health issues in this population. The prevalence of provider referral for smoking cessation (14.9% among ever smokers) and breast as well as cervical cancer screening (30.1% and 55.5%, respectively) were below the 75% level set forth in the Year 2000 Goals. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that increased cancer prevention and control efforts are needed in this special population to address the link between diet, weight, and long-term disease prevention. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.
- American Indian health
- Cancer prevention
- Minority women's health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health