Publications by authors named "Everett R Rhoades"

15 Publications

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Cancer mortality in a population-based cohort of American Indians - The strong heart study.

Cancer Epidemiol 2021 Oct 19;74:101978. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

MedStar Health Research Institute, 6525 Belcrest Road, Suite 700, Hyattsville, MD, 20782, USA; Georgetown, Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Research, Washington, DC, 2000, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Cancer mortality among American Indian (AI) people varies widely, but factors associated with cancer mortality are infrequently assessed.

Methods: Cancer deaths were identified from death certificate data for 3516 participants of the Strong Heart Study, a population-based cohort study of AI adults ages 45-74 years in Arizona, Oklahoma, and North and South Dakota. Cancer mortality was calculated by age, sex and region. Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess independent associations between baseline factors in 1989 and cancer death by 2010.

Results: After a median follow-up of 15.3 years, the cancer death rate per 1000 person-years was 6.33 (95 % CI 5.67-7.04). Cancer mortality was highest among men in North/South Dakota (8.18; 95 % CI 6.46-10.23) and lowest among women in Arizona (4.57; 95 % CI 2.87-6.92). Factors independently associated with increased cancer mortality included age, current or former smoking, waist circumference, albuminuria, urinary cadmium, and prior cancer history. Factors associated with decreased cancer mortality included Oklahoma compared to Dakota residence, higher body mass index and total cholesterol. Sex was not associated with cancer mortality. Lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer mortality overall (1.56/1000 person-years), but no lung cancer deaths occurred among Arizona participants. Mortality from unspecified cancer was relatively high (0.48/100 person-years; 95 % CI 0.32-0.71).

Conclusions: Regional variation in AI cancer mortality persisted despite adjustment for individual risk factors. Mortality from unspecified cancer was high. Better understanding of regional differences in cancer mortality, and better classification of cancer deaths, will help healthcare programs address cancer in AI communities.
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October 2021

Association of diabetes and cancer mortality in American Indians: the Strong Heart Study.

Cancer Causes Control 2015 Nov 7;26(11):1551-60. Epub 2015 Aug 7.

Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Purpose: The metabolic abnormalities that accompany diabetes mellitus are associated with an increased risk of many cancers. These associations, however, have not been well studied in American Indian populations, which experience a high prevalence of diabetes. The Strong Heart Study is a population-based, prospective cohort study with extensive characterization of diabetes status.

Methods: Among a total cohort of 4,419 participants who were followed for up to 20 years, 430 cancer deaths were identified.

Results: After adjusting for sex, age, education, smoking status, drinking status, and body mass index, participants with diabetes at baseline showed an increased risk of gastric (HR 4.09; 95% CI 1.42-11.79), hepatocellular (HR 2.94; 95% CI 1.17-7.40), and prostate cancer mortality (HR 3.10; 95% CI 1.22-7.94). Further adjustment for arsenic exposure showed a significantly increased risk of all-cause cancer mortality with diabetes (HR 1.27; 95% CI 1.03-1.58). Insulin resistance among participants without diabetes at baseline was associated with hepatocellular cancer mortality (HR 4.70; 95% CI 1.55-14.26).

Conclusions: Diabetes mellitus, and/or insulin resistance among those without diabetes, is a risk factor for gastric, hepatocellular, and prostate cancer in these American Indian communities, although relatively small sample size suggests cautious interpretation. Additional research is needed to evaluate the role of diabetes and obesity on cancer incidence in American Indian communities as well as the importance of diabetes prevention and control in reducing the burden of cancer incidence and mortality in the study population.
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November 2015

Lung function and heart disease in American Indian adults with high frequency of metabolic abnormalities (from the Strong Heart Study).

Am J Cardiol 2014 Jul 2;114(2):312-9. Epub 2014 May 2.

Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York.

The associations of pulmonary function with cardiovascular disease (CVD) independent of diabetes mellitus (DM) and metabolic syndrome have not been examined in a population-based setting. We examined prevalence and incidence CVD in relation to lower pulmonary function in the Strong Heart Study second examination (1993 to 1995) in 352 CVD and 2,873 non-CVD adults free of overt lung disease (mean age 60 years). Lung function was assessed by standard spirometry. Participants with metabolic syndrome or DM with or without CVD had lower pulmonary function than participants without these conditions after adjustment for hypertension, age, gender, abdominal obesity, smoking, physical activity index, and study field center. CVD participants with DM had significantly lower forced vital capacity than participants with CVD alone. Significant associations were observed between reduced pulmonary function, preclinical CVD, and prevalent CVD after adjustment for multiple CVD risk factors. During follow-up (median 13.3 years), pulmonary function did not predict CVD incidence, it predicted CVD mortality. Among 3,225 participants, 412 (298 without baseline CVD) died from CVD by the end of 2008. In models adjusted for multiple CVD risk factors, DM, metabolic syndrome, and baseline CVD, compared with highest quartile of lung function, lower lung function predicted CVD mortality (relative risk up to 1.5, 95% confidence interval 1.1 to 2.0, p<0.05). In conclusion, a population with a high prevalence of DM and metabolic syndrome and lower lung function was independently associated with prevalent clinical and preclinical CVD, and its impairment predicted CVD mortality. Additional research is needed to identify mechanisms linking metabolic abnormalities, low lung function, and CVD.
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July 2014

The public health foundation of health services for American Indians & Alaska Natives.

Am J Public Health 2014 Jun 23;104 Suppl 3:S278-85. Epub 2014 Apr 23.

Everett R. Rhoades is with the Center for American Indian Health Research, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City. Dorothy A. Rhoades is with the Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, and the Stephenson Cancer Center, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

The integration of public health practices with federal health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) largely derives from three major factors: the sovereign nature of AI/AN tribes, the sociocultural characteristics exhibited by the tribes, and that AI/ANs are distinct populations residing in defined geographic areas. The earliest services consisted of smallpox vaccination to a few AI/AN groups, a purely public health endeavor. Later, emphasis on public health was codified in the Snyder Act of 1921, which provided for, among other things, conservation of the health of AI/AN persons. Attention to the community was greatly expanded with the 1955 transfer of the Indian Health Service from the US Department of the Interior to the Public Health Service and has continued with the assumption of program operations by many tribes themselves. We trace developments in integration of community and public health practices in the provision of federal health care services for AI/AN persons and discuss recent trends.
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June 2014

Dietary Intake among American Indians with Metabolic Syndrome - Comparison to Dietary Recommendations: the Balance Study.

Int J Health Nutr 2013;4(1):33-45. Epub 2013 May 14.

Center for American Indian Health Research, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, United States.

Background: American Indians have a very high prevalence of metabolic syndrome that increases their risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Dietary habits are of central importance in the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome.

Objective: The main objective of this article was to describe dietary intake among American Indians with metabolic syndrome and compare it to several dietary recommendations. A secondary objective was to identify certain barriers to dietary adherence experienced by this population.

Methods: A total of 213 participants with metabolic syndrome were enrolled in the Balance Study, a randomized controlled trial with two intervention groups: Guided Group and Self-Managed Group. Dietary intake was assessed using the Block Food Frequency questionnaire. Dietary intakes were evaluated against the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Results: Intakes of saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium were higher and intakes of dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E were lower than recommended. Additionally, intake of many food groups was noticeably low. Economic factors seem to be related to low adherence to dietary recommendations.

Conclusion: Results showed low adherence by the participants to dietary recommendations for key nutrients and food groups related to risk factors for metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Economic factors are related to this low adherence. These findings illustrate a need to develop innovative, focused, and perhaps individualized health promotion strategies that can improve dietary habits of American Indians with metabolic syndrome.
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May 2013

A cardiovascular risk reduction program for American Indians with metabolic syndrome: the Balance Study.

J Prim Prev 2012 Aug;33(4):187-96

Center for American Indian Health Research, College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, P.O. Box 26901, Oklahoma City, OK 73126-0901, USA.

The Balance Study is a randomized controlled trial designed to reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in 200 American Indian (AI) participants with metabolic syndrome who reside in southwestern Oklahoma. Major risk factors targeted include weight, diet, and physical activity. Participants are assigned randomly to one of two groups, a guided or a self-managed group. The guided group attends intervention meetings that comprise education and experience with the following components: diet, exercise, AI culture, and attention to emotional wellbeing. The self-managed group receives printed CVD prevention materials that are generally available. The duration of the intervention is 24 months. Several outcome variables will be compared between the two groups to assess the effectiveness of the intervention program.
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August 2012

Differences in risk factors for coronary heart disease among diabetic and nondiabetic individuals from a population with high rates of diabetes: the Strong Heart Study.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2012 Oct 16;97(10):3766-74. Epub 2012 Jul 16.

Center for Biostatistics, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, 6565 Fannin Street, MGJ 6-032, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.

Context: Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Objective: This study compares differences in risk factors for CHD in diabetic vs. nondiabetic Strong Heart Study participants.

Design: This was an observational study.

Setting: The study was conducted at three centers in Arizona, Oklahoma, and North and South Dakota.

Participants: Data were obtained from 3563 of 4549 American Indians free of cardiovascular disease at baseline.

Intervention(s): CHD events were ascertained during follow-up.

Main Outcome Measure: CHD events were classified using standardized criteria.

Results: In diabetic and nondiabetic participants, 545 and 216 CHD events, respectively, were ascertained during follow-up (21,194 and 22,990 person-years); age- and sex-adjusted incidence rates of CHD were higher for the diabetic group (27.5 vs. 12.1 per 1,000 person-years). Risk factors for incident CHD common to both groups included older age, male sex, prehypertension or hypertension, and elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Risk factors specific to the diabetic group were lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, current smoking, macroalbuminuria, lower estimated glomerular filtration rate, use of diabetes medication, and longer duration of diabetes. Higher body mass index was a risk factor only for the nondiabetic group. The association of male sex and CHD was greater in those without diabetes than in those with diabetes.

Conclusions: In addition to higher incidence rates of CHD events in persons with diabetes compared with those without, the two groups differed in CHD risk factors. These differences must be recognized in estimating CHD risk and managing risk factors.
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October 2012

Obesity in adults is associated with reduced lung function in metabolic syndrome and diabetes: the Strong Heart Study.

Diabetes Care 2011 Oct 18;34(10):2306-13. Epub 2011 Aug 18.

College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.

Objective: The purposes of this study were to investigate whether reduced lung function is associated with metabolic syndrome (MS) and diabetes (DM) in American Indians (AIs) and to determine whether lower pulmonary function presents before the development of DM or MS.

Research Design And Methods: The Strong Heart Study (SHS) is a multicenter, prospective study of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its risk factors among AI adults. The present analysis used lung function assessment by standard spirometry at the SHS second examination (1993-1995) in 2,396 adults free of overt lung disease or CVD, with or without DM or MS. Among MS-free/DM-free participants, the development of MS/DM at the SHS third examination (1996-1999) was investigated.

Results: Significantly lower pulmonary function was observed for AIs with MS or DM. Impaired pulmonary function was associated with MS and DM after adjustment for age, sex, abdominal obesity, current smoking status, physical activity index, hypertension, and SHS field center. Both forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) were negatively associated with insulin resistance or DM severity and with serum markers of inflammation (P < 0.05). FVC and FEV1-to-FVC ratio both predicted DM in unadjusted analyses but not when adjusted for covariates, including waist circumference. In the adjusted model, abdominal obesity predicted both MS and DM.

Conclusions: Reduced lung function is independently associated with MS and with DM, and impaired lung function presents before the development of MS or DM; these associations may result from the effects of obesity and inflammation.
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October 2011

Advantages of video questionnaire in estimating asthma prevalence and risk factors for school children: findings from an asthma survey in American Indian youth.

J Asthma 2010 Sep;47(7):711-7

Center for American Indian Health Research, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, College of Public Health, 801 N.E. 13th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73190, U.S.A.

Objectives: The aims of the present study were to estimate the prevalence and risk factors of asthma among a sample of American Indian youth and to evaluate survey instruments used in determining asthma prevalence and risk factors.

Methods: Three hundred and fifty-two adolescents aged 9 to 21 years enrolled in an Indian boarding school completed an asthma screening. The survey instruments were a written questionnaire and a video-illustrated questionnaire prepared from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), school health records, and a health questionnaire. Participants also underwent spirometry testing.

Results: The prevalence of self-reported asthma varied from 12.7% to 13.4% depending upon the instrument used and the questions asked. A history of hay fever, respiratory infections, and family history of asthma were found to be risk factors for asthma by all instruments. Female gender and living on a reservation were significantly associated with asthma by some, but not all, instruments. Airway obstruction was highly associated with one asthma symptom (wheeze) shown in the video questionnaire. Associations for most risk factors with asthma were strongest for the video questionnaire.

Conclusions: The prevalence of self-reported asthma among these American Indian youth was similar to rates reported for other ethnic groups. The video-based questionnaire may be the most sensitive tool for identifying individuals at risk for asthma.
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September 2010

The Indian health service and traditional Indian medicine.

Virtual Mentor 2009 Oct 1;11(10):793-8. Epub 2009 Oct 1.

University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.

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October 2009

The health of American Indian and Alaska Native women, infants and children.

Matern Child Health J 2008 Jul;12 Suppl 1:2-3

Department of Medicine, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.

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July 2008

Asthma in American Indian adults: the Strong Heart Study.

Chest 2007 May 30;131(5):1323-30. Epub 2007 Mar 30.

University of Vermont College of Medicine, 111 Colchester Ave, Burlington, VT 05401, USA.

Background: Despite growing recognition that asthma is an important cause of morbidity among American Indians, there has been no systematic study of this disease in older adults who are likely to be at high risk of complications related to asthma. Characterization of the impact of asthma among American Indian adults is necessary in order to design appropriate clinical and preventive measures.

Methods: A sample of participants in the third examination of the Strong Heart Study, a multicenter, population-based, prospective study of cardiovascular disease in American Indians, completed a standardized respiratory questionnaire, performed spirometry, and underwent allergen skin testing. Participants were > or = 50 years old.

Results: Of 3,197 participants in the third examination, 6.3% had physician-diagnosed asthma and 4.3% had probable asthma. Women had a higher prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma than men (8.2% vs 3.2%). Of the 435 participants reported in the asthma substudy, morbidity related to asthma was high: among those with physician-diagnosed asthma: 97% reported trouble breathing and 52% had severe persistent disease. The mean FEV(1) in those with physician-diagnosed asthma was 61.3% of predicted, and 67.2% reported a history of emergency department visits and/or hospitalizations in the last year, yet only 3% were receiving regular inhaled corticosteroids.

Conclusions: The prevalence of asthma among older American Indians residing in three separate geographic areas of the United States was similar to rates in other ethnic groups. Asthma was associated with low lung function, significant morbidity and health-care utilization, yet medications for pulmonary disease were underutilized by this population.
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May 2007

Long-term efficacy of BCG vaccine in American Indians and Alaska Natives: A 60-year follow-up study.

JAMA 2004 May;291(17):2086-91

Department of Medicine, Infectious Disease Division, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md 20814, USA.

Context: The duration of protection from tuberculosis of BCG vaccines is not known.

Objective: To determine the long-term duration of protection of a BCG vaccine that was previously found to be efficacious.

Design: Retrospective record review using Indian Health Service records, tuberculosis registries, death certificates, and supplemental interviews with trial participants.

Setting And Participants: Follow-up for the period 1948-1998 among American Indians and Alaska Natives who participated in a placebo-controlled BCG vaccine trial during 1935-1938 and who were still at risk of developing tuberculosis. Data from 1483 participants in the BCG vaccine group and 1309 in the placebo group were analyzed.

Main Outcome Measures: Efficacy of BCG vaccine, calculated for each 10-year interval using a Cox regression model with time-dependent variables based on tuberculosis events occurring after December 31, 1947 (end of prospective case finding).

Results: The overall incidence of tuberculosis was 66 and 138 cases per 100 000 person-years in the BCG vaccine and placebo groups, respectively, for an estimate of vaccine efficacy of 52% (95% confidence interval, 27%-69%). Adjustments for age at vaccination, tribe, subsequent BCG vaccination, chronic medical illness, isoniazid use, and bacille Calmette-Guérin strain did not substantially affect vaccine efficacy. There was slight but not statistically significant waning of the efficacy of BCG vaccination over time, greater among men than women.

Conclusion: In this trial, BCG vaccine efficacy persisted for 50 to 60 years, suggesting that a single dose of an effective BCG vaccine can have a long duration of protection.
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May 2004

The health status of American Indian and Alaska native males.

Am J Public Health 2003 May;93(5):774-8

Native American Prevention Research Center, University of Oklahoma College of Public Health, Room 532 Rogers Building, 800 NE 15th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA.

Objectives: This study summarizes current health status information relating to American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) males compared with that of AI/AN females.

Methods: I analyzed published data from the Indian Health Service for 1994 through 1996 to determine sex differences in morbidity and mortality rates and use of health care facilities.

Results: AI/AN males' death rates exceed those of AI/AN females for every age up to 75 years and for 6 of the 8 leading causes of death. Accidents, suicide, and homicide are epidemic among AI/AN males. Paradoxically, AI/AN males contribute only 37.9% of outpatient visits, versus 62.1% for females, and only 47% of hospitalizations excluding childbirth.

Conclusions: AI/AN males suffer inordinately from a combination of increased burden of illness and lack of utilization of health care services. Programs targeted to anomie, loss of traditional male roles, and violence and alcoholism are among the most urgently needed.
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May 2003

American Indians and the private health care sector: the growing use of private care by Indians has implications for patients, providers, and policymakers.

West J Med 2002 Jan;176(1):7-9

Native American Prevention Research Center, University of Oklahoma College of Public Health 801 N E 13th St Oklahoma City, OK 73190, USA.

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January 2002