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Alcoholism Among Indians not Extreme

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Dec 01, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A new study by the University of Colorado suggests alcoholism is not as common among Indians as previously believed.

Although the rate of alcoholism is higher than the national average, the authors of the study told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader their findings defy the stereotype of the "drunken Indian."

Earlier studies have reported alcoholism rates as high as 70 to 80 percent among Indian men, compared to a national average of about 20 percent. Researchers at the University of Colorado in Denver thought these results might be based on a biased sample.

To overcome that they studied entire native communities, surveying a cross-section of the population on or near three reservations -- two in the Northern Plains and one in the Southwest.

They found that 30 percent of the men age 15 to 54 had been alcoholics at some point in their lives, a rate 50 percent above the national average but far lower than was previously presumed.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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