YKHC Annual Tribal Gathering

by Daysha Eaton on April 9, 2014

YKHC's Diabetes Program was there testing blood sugar.

Photo by Dean Swope, KYUK – YKHC’s Diabetes Program was there testing blood sugar.

Quit smoking, wear your PFD or helmet, and get colorectal screenings routinely once you’re 50. Those were among the easiest recommendations by Dr. Joseph Klejka Tuesday to reduce death rates in the YK Delta.  Klejka was speaking at the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation’s Annual Tribal Gathering.

Klejka said cancer is the region’s number one killer, with the majority of those deaths coming from lung and colorectal cancer. YK Delta cancer rates are above state and national averages when adjusted for age.

Other notable statics show the region has a teen suicide rate 17 times the national average.

YK Delta death rates are higher than the national average in most categories but the region does have a lower rate of deaths by heart disease.

The two-day conference continues through Wednesday at the cultural center in Bethel.

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