Cardiovascular Disease in American Indians and Alaskan Natives

Published: May 28, 2020

A group picture of a Navajo American Indians family outside
  • The prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been rising in American Indians and Alaskan Natives; CVD is the leading cause of death in those population groups over the past 50 years.
  • Diabetes is a major contributor to disproportionately higher rates of coronary heart disease in American Indians and Alaskan Natives compared to other races. Other risk factors for CVD prevalent in these groups include elevated LDL-C levels, hypertension, obesity, age, and sex. Tobacco use and toxic metal exposure are also risk factors for some sub-populations of American Indian and Alaska Natives.
  • This statement summarizes population-level CVD risk factors and management techniques tailored to American Indians and Alaskan Natives.