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American Indian Health

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The National Library of Medicine, a part of the National Institutes of Health, announces a new Web site to address the health concerns of the 4 million Americans who claim American Indian or Alaska Native ancestry. The site, "American Indian Health," is at <http://americanindianhealth.nlm.nih.gov>.


Because special populations have different health needs, the Library has created several specialized sites, for example, for Asian Americans, those living in the Arctic and far north, senior citizens, and Spanish-speaking Americans. (These are all available from <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/databases>.)


American Indian Health addresses the special needs of this population. Research shows that Native Americans are 2.6 times more likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of a similar age. American Indians also have a greater mortality risk for tuberculosis, suicide, pneumonia, alcoholism, and influenza than the average population.


American Indian Health brings together pertinent health and medical resources, including consumer health information, the results of research, traditional healing resources, and links to other Web sites. Much of the information has been assembled from other National Library of Medicine resources such as PubMed and MedlinePlus.


"The National Library of Medicine is interested in reaching out to populations with special needs," said Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., Library director. He notes that, for Native Americans, the NLM has a history of attending local powwows and making health information available during those events.

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