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American Indians with H1N1 at higher risk.

American Indians in New Mexico were hospitalized with H1N1 pandemic influenza at a higher rate than other minority groups and whites, according to a study in the September issue of AJPH.

The study found that the rate of H1N1-related hospitalization in 2009 was higher among American Indians, blacks and Hispanics than it was among whites and that American Indians had the highest rate of hospitalization.

Though other studies have found that American Indian and Alaska Natives might have higher risks of influenza-related hospitalization and death because they tend to suffer more from chronic diseases such as diabetes, the new study found that American Indians hospitalized in New Mexico from H1N1 flu had lower rates of chronic diseases than other racial and ethnic groups. The study's authors said the finding was unexpected and the reason for it unclear.

The study's authors said the findings support recent national efforts to include American Indian and Alaska Natives as "a group at high risk for complications of influenza" and to encourage vaccination and antiviral treatment. (Page 1,776)

To access studies from AJPH, visit
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Title Annotation:JOURNAL WATCH: Highlights from the September issue of the American Journal of Public Health
Author:Tucker, Charlotte
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Oct 1, 2011
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