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Disease Change and the Role of Medicine: The Navajo Experience$
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Stephen Kunitz

Print publication date: 1983

Print ISBN-13: 9780520049260

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520049260.001.0001

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Disease Patterns on the Navajo Reservation

Disease Patterns on the Navajo Reservation

(p.64) 3 Disease Patterns on the Navajo Reservation
Disease Change and the Role of Medicine: The Navajo Experience

Stephen J. Kunitz

University of California Press

This chapter reviews the history of several causes of death on the Navajo reservation. It is noted that tuberculosis therapy brought about the decline in its morbidity and mortality. Additionally, the factors contributing to the decline in infant mortality include improved medical therapy and nutritional status. It is also shown that adult mortality has been reduced primarily by medical measures, whereas infant and child mortality have declined as a result of less specific changes. It may be said that postneonatal mortality rates are highest in the poorest populations; circulatory diseases, followed by gastrointestinal diseases and accidental deaths, are highest in wage work populations; and infectious diseases and symptoms and ill-defined conditions are somewhat ambiguously placed, evidently affecting children in poor populations as well as adults in wage work populations.

Keywords:   death, Navajo reservation, tuberculosis, medical therapy, nutritional status, gastrointestinal diseases, accidental deaths, infectious diseases, circulatory diseases

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