COVID-19 was the leading killer of Native Americans in Montana last year
COVID-19 was the leading cause of death among American-Indians in Montana last year, according to a recent state health department report.
According to a review of death certificates by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, deaths among American-Indian and Alaska Natives spiked 36 percent in 2020 compared to the previous five years, largely due to COVID-19.
The analysis shows the rate of COVID deaths among American Indian and Alaska Native people in Montana was also over double that of Ingegenous people across the entire country.
People identifying as Indigenous in Montana account for about 7 percent of the state’s total population, and accounted for 15 percent of coronavirus mortalities in 2020, according to a state health department report.
The state health department says there are several reasons for these disparities, including more multi-generational households among Native American families, lack of access to health care and a higher rate of underlying health conditions like diabetes and chronic lung diseases.
COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death statewide in 2020.