Report: Chronic disease in Alaska

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has released its 2018 Brief Report on Chronic Disease. The report looked at data from 2016.

The report looked at cancer, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, asthma, and diabetes, which are among the most prevalent, costly, and preventable health problems.

Key statistics include:

  • 22% of all deaths in Alaska in 2016 were due to cancer.
  • Heart disease and stroke are the 2nd and 5th leading causes of death in Alaska.
  • In 2016, 30% of adults in Alaska reported having high blood pressure. In 2015, 34% of Alaska adults who had their cholesterol checked reported being told it was high.
  • In 2016, diabetes was the 8th leading cause of death in Alaska.
  • In 2016, 24% of adults in Alaska reported being diagnosed with arthritis.

The report also looked at chronic disease risk factors: using tobacco, being inactive, poor diet, and being overweight or obese. Only 15 percent of Alaska adults do not have all four risk factors.

The report also determined that preventable services such as mammograms and blood glucose tests were being utilized at a lower rate than the US rate. The Alaskan uninsured rate is also higher than the national average, 14 percent versus 12 percent.

Rural Alaskans, Alaskan Natives, and low socioeconomic status Alaskans have higher risk of chronic disease compared to all Alaskans.

The complete report can be viewed here.