Tulalip heart study planned

TULALIP — Health officials at the Tulalip Tribes have joined with the University of Washington in a five-year study of the cardiovascular health of tribal members.

With a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Karina Walters, director of the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute at the University of Washington, hopes to find out how prevalent heart disease is among tribal members.

“We already have some baseline rates, but we’ll look more in-depth at everything from environmental features and geography for things that might be affecting health and wellness,” Walters said. “This will be a comprehensive analysis.”

Walters said Tulalip tribal leaders asked her to develop a diabetes study on tribal members, but when a grant for cardiovascular health was awarded, the university decided to broaden the scope of the study.

More than 70 percent of the university staff members working on the program are enrolled in American Indian tribes, Walters said.

The program began a year ago, with the first year dedicated to developing the program. Next month, the team from the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute will begin its survey of tribal members to determine the prevalence of heart disease. They’ll also look at the type of foods available within a convenient distance from the Tulalip Indian Reservation, and whether tribal members who practice traditional lifestyles experience lower rates of disease.

From there, researchers will create a program for prevention and intervention of heart disease, Walters said. The program will most likely encourage a traditional diet of fish, meat and vegetables and include a training component on recreating an environment where those resources thrive.

“At the end of five years, we hope to have a successful cardiovascular disease prevention program that could be used in other Northwest native communities,” Walters said.

By the numbers

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer among American Indians, causing more than 25 percent of all deaths, according to the American Heart Association.

Deaths caused by heart disease in Washington state are lower than the national average for every ethnicity except for American Indians, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Snohomish County, residents die of heart disease at a rate of 405 people per 100,000 deaths, but American Indians in Snohomish County die of heart disease at a rate of 482 people per 100,000 deaths.

Only African Americans die of heart disease at a higher rate, at 483 people per 100,000 deaths.

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - A sign hangs at a Taco Bell on May 23, 2014, in Mount Lebanon, Pa. Declaring a mission to liberate "Taco Tuesday" for all, Taco Bell asked U.S. regulators Tuesday, May 16, 2023, to force Wyoming-based Taco John's to abandon its longstanding claim to the trademark. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Hepatitis A confirmed in Taco Bell worker in Everett, Lake Stevens

The health department sent out a public alert for diners at two Taco Bells on May 22 or 23.

VOLLI’s Director of Food & Beverage Kevin Aiello outside of the business on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Coming soon to Marysville: indoor pickleball, games, drinks

“We’re very confident this will be not just a hit, but a smash hit,” says co-owner Allan Jones, who is in the fun industry.

Detectives: Unresponsive baby was exposed to fentanyl at Everett hotel

An 11-month-old boy lost consciousness Tuesday afternoon. Later, the infant and a twin sibling both tested positive for fentanyl.

Cassie Franklin (left) and Nick Harper (right)
Report: No wrongdoing in Everett mayor’s romance with deputy mayor

An attorney hired by the city found no misuse of public funds. Texts between the two last year, however, were not saved on their personal phones.

Firearm discovered by TSA officers at Paine Field Thursday morning, May 11, 2023, during routine X-ray screening at the security checkpoint. (Transportation Security Administration)
3 guns caught by TSA at Paine Field this month — all loaded

Simple travel advice: Unpack before you pack to make sure there’s not a gun in your carry-on.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
To beat the rush this Memorial Day weekend, go early or late

AAA projects busy airports, ferries and roads over the holiday weekend this year, though still below pre-pandemic counts.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Troopers: DUI crash leaves 1 in critical condition in Maltby

A drunken driver, 34, was arrested after her pickup rear-ended another truck late Tuesday, injuring a Snohomish man, 28.

Housing Hope CEO Donna Moulton raises her hand in celebration of the groundbreaking of the Housing Hope Madrona Highlands on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$30M affordable housing project to start construction soon in Edmonds

Once built, dozens of families who are either homeless or in poverty will move in and receive social and work services.

Snohomish County Prosecutor Jason Cummings in an interview with The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington on Monday, May 1, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County prosecutors declined 3,000 felony cases in 2022. Why?

A pandemic backlog and inexperienced cops begin to explain the trend, even as police raise the alarm about rising crime.

Most Read