Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Peggy Mohr


Cardiovascular Diseases; Indians, North American


Native American populations have been experiencing a rise in chronic illnesses and social pathologies. The Indian Health Service (IHS) is the primary provider of health care to a majority of Native Americans. Cardiovascular Disease is the leading cause of death among Native American men and women in a majority of tribes. Despite efforts by the IHS this once uncommon disease rapidly increasing in native American groups. Many believe that the acculturation of western lifestyles and changes in diet are contributing factors to the increase in heart disease. They contend that the cause lies in the prevalence of associated risk factors that have increased in native groups through circumstances of habit or necessity. Inadequate congressional funding and other barriers to service have limited the type and extent of services on reservations and in urban settings. The purpose of this independent study was to review and summarize the current available literature on cardiac disease and its associated risk factors, within Native American populations, and methods of intervention were discussed.