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Committee opinion no. 515: Health care for urban American Indian and Alaska Native women

TitleCommittee opinion no. 515: Health care for urban American Indian and Alaska Native women
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
JournalObstet GynecolObstet Gynecol
Volume119
Pagination201-5
Date PublishedJan
ISBN Number1873-233X (Electronic)<br/>0029-7844 (Linking)
Accession Number22183240
KeywordsAmerican Native Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Health Services Accessibility, Health Status, Humans, Maternal Health Services, Pregnancy, Urban Health, Urban Health Services, Urban Population, Women's Health, Women's Health Services
AbstractSixty percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women live in metropolitan areas. Most are not eligible for health care provided by the federal Indian Health Service (IHS). The IHS partly funds 34 Urban Indian Health Organizations, which vary in size and services. Some are small informational and referral sites that are limited even in the scope of outpatient services provided. Compared with other urban populations, urban American Indian and Alaska Native women have higher rates of teenaged pregnancy, late or no prenatal care, and alcohol and tobacco use in pregnancy. Their infants have higher rates of preterm birth, mortality, and sudden infant death syndrome than infants in the general population. Barriers to care experienced by American Indian and Alaska Native women should be addressed. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encourages Fellows to be aware of the risk profile of their urban American Indian and Alaska Native patients and understand that they often are not eligible for IHS coverage and may need assistance in gaining access to other forms of coverage. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also recommends that Fellows encourage their federal legislators to support adequate funding for the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, permanently authorized as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
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