Native Americans live less than the rest of the US population

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Life expectancy is falling again, with native communities affected by poverty and limited access to health care paying the greatest price.

In the United States the natives Americans and Alaska live, on average, less than the rest of the population. The members of the indigenous communities are 65 years old, the others 76 years old. This is what emerges from the latest surveys conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics relating to life expectancy for the year 2021, which fell for the second consecutive year.

A worrying figure, exacerbated by two years of pandemic, especially if you think that behind those numbers there are stories. Like that of Carol Schumacher is reported by the New York Times newspaper grew up in the remote community of Chilchinbeto in the Navajo reservation between Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, in the southwest of the United States. He lost 42 family members due to Covid-19.

Among the causes: poverty and limited access to health care

Researchers wondered what made native communities so vulnerable to Covid-19, outlining the contours of a complex and not entirely exhaustive picture. Certainly there is a long history of contributing to this negative record poverty, inadequate access to health care, poor infrastructure largely a legacy of unfulfilled government promises. An issue that emphasizes not only the state of the rights of natives, but that of all minorities in the country.

Already in the course of 2021 theApm research labhad published a study on the link between deaths from Covid-19 and ethnicity in the United States. The numbers remarked that Native Americans had a mortality rate of 1 are 475 a value that fell to 1 are 646 for African Americans e 1 are 825 for whites.

Discrimination and racism also play a role

Department of health and human services. And as if that weren’t enough, according to studies, discrimination and racism negatively affect the mental and physical health of the members of the community.

“There is nothing strange or unusual about our population,” said Dr. Ann Bullock, former director of diabetes prevention at Indian health servicese, a member of the Chippewa tribe of Minnesota. “It is simply what happens biologically to populations who are chronically and deeply stressed and resource deprived.”

However, Covid was only the tip of the iceberg, entering into the general picture also aggravated by alcohol and drug abuse, in addition tochronic liver diseasewhich played a role comparable to that of the coronavirus in increasing deaths in 2021.

Although the data is not heartening, the consciences of Americans are not indifferent to the question of the natives. Just a few weeks ago, the Academy of motion picture arts and science formally apologized to the Native American actress and activist. In 1973 she was booed for turning down the Oscar on behalf ofMarlon Brandodetermined to boycott the ceremony as a protest against the portrayal of the natives in Hollywood.

It would be useful if the closeness shown with gestures similar to this one would then translate into a concrete improvement in the living conditions of the native communities.


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