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The Health of Native Americans: Toward a Biocultural Epidemiology

Jonathan R. Sugarman, MD, MPH
JAMA. 1995;273(6):509-510. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520300083050.
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Despite the considerable volume of health research involving the indigenous peoples of North America during the last half century, few attempts have been made to synthesize this body of work into a cohesive whole. T. Kue Young's The Health of Native Americans: Toward a Biocultural Epidemiology is an excellent synopsis of the health status of Native Americans in the United States and Canada. Young's goals were "to take a critical and comprehensive look at what is known about the state of health of Native Americans, why certain diseases are common, and how best to prevent and control them." To varying degrees, he has succeeded in reaching each of these goals.

The book includes a general introduction to Native Americans, which concisely describes a number of cultural, social, and demographic features of the indigenous populations of North America. This introduction will serve to orient readers unfamiliar with the field to a


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