Metabolic Syndrome Among American Indian and Alaska Native Populations: Implications for Cardiovascular Health

Timian M. Godfrey, Felina M. Cordova-Marks, Desiree Jones, Forest Melton, Khadijah Breathett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose of Review: The latest national data reports a 55% prevalence of metabolic syndrome in American Indian adults compared to 34.7% of the general US adult population. Metabolic syndrome is a strong predictor for diabetes, which is the leading cause of heart disease in American Indian and Alaska Native populations. Metabolic syndrome and associated risk factors disproportionately impact this population. We describe the presentation, etiology, and roles of structural racism and social determinants of health on metabolic syndrome. Recent Findings: Much of what is known about metabolic syndrome in American Indian and Alaska Native populations comes from the Strong Heart Study as there is scant literature. American Indian and Alaska Native adults have an increased propensity towards metabolic syndrome as they are 1.1 times more likely to have high blood pressure, approximately three times more likely to have diabetes, and have higher rates of obesity compared with their non-Hispanic White counterparts. Culturally informed lifestyle and behavior interventions are promising approaches to address structural racism and social determinants of health that highly influence factors contributing to these rates. Summary: Among American Indian and Alaska Native populations, there is scarce updated literature evaluating the underlying causes of major risk factors for metabolic syndrome, and progression to cardiometabolic disease. As a result, the actual state of metabolic syndrome in this population is not well understood. Systemic and structural changes must occur to address the root causes of these disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Hypertension Reports
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Alaska Native
  • American Indian
  • Cardiovascular abnormalities
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Indigenous populations
  • Metabolic disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Racism
  • Social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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