Self-Governance Communication & Education Tribal Consortium

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Releases Vital Signs Report

On January 10, 2017, CDC released a Vital Signs report showing a dramatic decrease in kidney failure from diabetes among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). 

Key findings from the report:

  • AI/ANs are twice as likely as whites to have diagnosed diabetes.
  • Kidney failure from diabetes among Native Americans was the highest of any race, but decreased 54% from 1996 to 2013. The rate of kidney failure among people with diabetes is now the same for AI/ANs as it is for whites.
  • This improvement occurred following implementation by the Indian Health Service of population health and team-based approaches to diabetes and kidney care, a potential model for other populations.

This issue of Vital Signs highlights what health care systems can do to reduce kidney failure in people with diabetes. In response to the rapidly growing burden of diabetes in AI/ANs, beginning in the mid-1980’s, the Indian Health Service (IHS) initiated population health and team-based approaches to diabetes care. Key elements include multidisciplinary care teams, integration of kidney disease education and prevention into routine diabetes care, and community outreach. Following implementation of these approaches, kidney failure from diabetes among AI/ANs decreased by 54%.

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