Introduction: Limited available data document higher prevalences of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and health outcomes among American Indians (AIs) compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Methods: As part of a randomized control trial to improve tribal food and physical activity environments, our tribal-academic partnership surveyed a cross-sectional sample of American Indian adults (n = 513) to assess the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, tobacco use, physical activity, and vegetable and fruit intake. Surveys were collected from April through May 2015. We used logistic regression to examine the association between CVD-related risk factors and health outcomes. Results: The prevalence of CVD-related outcomes was high, ranging from 25% for diabetes to 75% for low vegetable intake. The prevalence of diabetes, obesity, and hypertension tended to be higher among participants with any tobacco use compared to no tobacco use, but findings were not statistically significant. The prevalence of diabetes (prevalence ratio 2.1, 95% CI 1.4–3.2) and obesity (prevalence ratio 1.5, 95% CI 1.2–1.8) was higher among participants with low physical activity levels compared to recommended physical activity levels. Conclusions: CVD risk factors and health outcomes persist among American Indians even as some risks (e.g., smoking) appear to be stabilizing or even declining in the general US population. Efforts to include American Indians in national health surveys, implement broad reaching environmental and policy interventions, and address the social determinants of health are critical to the elimination of these disparities.
- American Indian
- Cardiovascular disease
- Community-based participatory research
- Native American
- Vegetable and fruit intake