Status of Maternal Cardiovascular Health in American Indian and Alaska Native Individuals

Published: May 31, 2023

Young Yurok mother walks around her neighborhood, carrying her baby on her hip. They pause to say hello. The baby is barefoot and has an inquisitive expression. The mom wears teeshirt and jeans, and has a blanket with tribal designs wrapped around her baby and herself to stay warm. Houses and trees are soft focus in the background.
  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the American Indian and Alaska Native populations. CVD rates are higher than 12% and are likely to be underreported in this population by about 21%. CVD rates are high in younger AI/AN pregnancy-capable women.
  • American Indians and Alaska Native women have among the highest rates of maternal death and morbidity.
  • This scientific statement synthesizes available literature for cardiovascular health in the AI/AN pregnancy-capable women, highlight disparities in this population and provide suggestions for developing a framework to reduce adverse maternal outcomes in this group of women.