Study Finds that Alaska Natives/American Indians in Contiguous US More Likely to be Smokers Compared to Other Races, but no Association Between Race and Smoking in Alaska

Tribal Smoking

Few studies have focused on understanding how sociodemographic factors impact healthy ageing in the rapidly growing population of Alaskan older adults. A newly published study compared the health of Alaskan older adults to those in the contiguous US, and determined how the associations differ between older adults in Alaska and the contiguous US.


Findings included:

·         In the contiguous US, females were less likely than males to be obese, while in Alaska, females were more likely to be obese.

·         In the contiguous US, Alaska Natives/American Indians were more likely than respondents of other races to be smokers, while in Alaska, the association between race and smoking was not significant.

·         These differences between Alaska and the contiguous US results suggest that programs designed to reduce disparities and promote healthy behaviours may need to be tailored to meet the unique needs and challenges of older adults living in Alaska.


Source: Cohen et al. (2019). Disparities in social determinants of health outcomes and behaviours between older adults in Alaska and the contiguous US: evidence from a national survey. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, Dec;78(1):1557980. doi: 10.1080/22423982.2018.1557980.

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