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1.  Increasing trend in the rate of infectious disease hospitalisations among Alaska Native people 
International Journal of Circumpolar Health  2013;72:10.3402/ijch.v72i0.20994.
Objectives
To examine the epidemiology of infectious disease (ID) hospitalisations among Alaska Native (AN) people.
Methods
Hospitalisations with a first-listed ID diagnosis for American Indians and ANs residing in Alaska during 2001–2009 were selected from the Indian Health Service direct and contract health service inpatient data. ID hospitalisations to describe the general US population were selected from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Annual and average annual (2007–2009) hospitalization rates were calculated.
Results
During 2007–2009, IDs accounted for 20% of hospitalisations among AN people. The 2007–2009 average annual age-adjusted ID hospitalisation rate (2126/100,000 persons) was higher than that for the general US population (1679/100,000; 95% CI 1639–1720). The ID hospitalisation rate for AN people increased from 2001 to 2009 (17%, p<0.001). Although the rate during 2001–2009 declined for AN infants (<1 year of age; p=0.03), they had the highest 2007–2009 average annual rate (15106/100,000), which was 3 times the rate for general US infants (5215/100,000; 95% CI 4783–5647). The annual rates for the age groups 1–4, 5–19, 40–49, 50–59 and 70–79 years increased (p<0.05). The highest 2007–2009 age-adjusted average annual ID hospitalisation rates were in the Yukon-Kuskokwim (YK) (3492/100,000) and Kotzebue (3433/100,000) regions; infant rates were 30422/100,000 and 26698/100,000 in these regions, respectively. During 2007–2009, lower respiratory tract infections accounted for 39% of all ID hospitalisations and approximately 50% of ID hospitalisations in YK, Kotzebue and Norton Sound, and 74% of infant ID hospitalisations.
Conclusions
The ID hospitalisation rate increased for AN people overall. The rate for AN people remained higher than that for the general US population, particularly in infants and in the YK and Kotzebue regions. Prevention measures to reduce ID morbidity among AN people should be increased in high-risk regions and for diseases with high hospitalisation rates.
doi:10.3402/ijch.v72i0.20994
PMCID: PMC3753132  PMID: 23984284
Alaska Native; infectious disease; hospitalisations; Alaska; lower respiratory tract infection
2.  Changing Trends in Viral Hepatitis-Associated Hospitalizations in the American Indian/Alaska Native Population, 1995–2007 
Public Health Reports  2011;126(6):816-825.
SYNOPSIS
Objective
We described the changing epidemiology of viral hepatitis among the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) population that uses Indian Health Service (IHS) health care.
Methods
We used hospital discharge data from the IHS National Patient Information Reporting System to determine rates of hepatitis A-, B-, and C-associated hospitalization among AI/ANs using IHS health care from 1995–2007 and summary periods 1995–1997 and 2005–2007.
Results
Hepatitis A-associated hospitalization rates among AI/AN people decreased from 4.9 per 100,000 population during 1995–1997 to 0.8 per 100,000 population during 2005–2007 (risk ratio [RR] = 0.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.1, 0.2). While there was no significant change in the overall hepatitis B-associated hospitalization rate between time periods, the average annual rate in people aged 45–64 years increased by 109% (RR=2.1, 95% CI 1.4, 3.2). Between the two time periods, the hepatitis C-associated hospitalization rate rose from 13.0 to 55.0 per 100,000 population (RR=4.2, 95% CI 3.8, 4.7), an increase of 323%. The hepatitis C-associated hospitalization rate was highest among people aged 45–64 years, males, and those in the Alaska region.
Conclusions
Hepatitis A has decreased to near-eradication levels among the AI/AN population using IHS health care. Hepatitis C-associated hospitalizations increased significantly; however, there was no significant change in hepatitis B-associated hospitalizations. Emphasis should be placed on continued universal childhood and adolescent hepatitis B vaccination and improved vaccination of high-risk adults. Prevention and education efforts should focus on decreasing hepatitis C risk behaviors and identifying people with hepatitis C infection so they may be referred for treatment.
PMCID: PMC3185317  PMID: 22043097
3.  Human Prion Diseases in the United States 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(1):e8521.
Background
Prion diseases are a family of rare, progressive, neurodegenerative disorders that affect humans and animals. The most common form of human prion disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), occurs worldwide. Variant CJD (vCJD), a recently emerged human prion disease, is a zoonotic foodborne disorder that occurs almost exclusively in countries with outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
This study describes the occurrence and epidemiology of CJD and vCJD in the United States.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Analysis of CJD and vCJD deaths using death certificates of US residents for 1979–2006, and those identified through other surveillance mechanisms during 1996–2008. Since CJD is invariably fatal and illness duration is usually less than one year, the CJD incidence is estimated as the death rate. During 1979 through 2006, an estimated 6,917 deaths with CJD as a cause of death were reported in the United States, an annual average of approximately 247 deaths (range 172–304 deaths). The average annual age-adjusted incidence for CJD was 0.97 per 1,000,000 persons. Most (61.8%) of the CJD deaths occurred among persons ≥65 years of age for an average annual incidence of 4.8 per 1,000,000 persons in this population. Most deaths were among whites (94.6%); the age-adjusted incidence for whites was 2.7 times higher than that for blacks (1.04 and 0.40, respectively). Three patients who died since 2004 were reported with vCJD; epidemiologic evidence indicated that their infection was acquired outside of the United States.
Conclusion/Significance
Surveillance continues to show an annual CJD incidence rate of about 1 case per 1,000,000 persons and marked differences in CJD rates by age and race in the United States. Ongoing surveillance remains important for monitoring the stability of the CJD incidence rates, and detecting occurrences of vCJD and possibly other novel prion diseases in the United States.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008521
PMCID: PMC2797136  PMID: 20049325

Results 1-3 (3)