The Health of Native Americans: Toward a Biocultural Epidemiology

Synopsis

This book provides a comprehensive review of the health of Native Americans in Canada and the United States. Historical trends in population and health status from pre-European contact to the present are examined in three groups of diseases: infectious diseases, chronic diseases, and injuries. The author discusses the etiology and pathogenesis of different diseases in each group, and weighs genetic and environmental risk factors. He also compares the incidence of disease among Native Americans and non-Native Americans, examines variations among Native Americans belonging to different geographical, cultural and linguistic groups, and reviews control and prevention strategies. On a broader level, the author's purpose is to integrate the approaches of anthropology and epidemiology in order to show the interaction of biology and culture on disease causation, distribution, and control. Attention to both perspectives offers a promising approach to understanding and improving the health status of Native Americans.

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