Simple Science @Heart: Hunter-gatherers in remote lands have heart-healthy lifestyles
In some remote locales, entire cultures of people eat only what they grow or kill. It turns out that these hunter-gathers generally have healthier hearts than people in modernized society, according to two new studies in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.
One group of researchers studied the Tsimane people from the tropical lowlands of Boliviaâ€™s Amazon basin. They live on plantains, rice, corn, manioc, fish and hunted game â€“ and they have lower age-related increases in blood pressure than people in most countries.
The other study looked at the effect of aging on atherosclerosis in traditional Pygmies, who live in the equatorial forests of Cameroon in Africa. Their risk was considered lower than other local semi-modern populations.
Researchers say lifestyle factors of these traditional populations â€” high physical activity and diets loaded with fruits and vegetables â€” may protect against normal aging effects, high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries.
Michael Gurven, Ph.D., anthropology professor and chairman of the University of California-Santa Barbaraâ€™s Integrative Anthropological Sciences Unit.
Daniel Lemogoum, M.D., M.P.H., cardiologist at the Hypertension Clinic at HÃ´pital Erasme of the UniversitÃ© Libre de Bruxelles in Brussels, Belgium.
Stories available for linking, quoting, excerpting, reprinting
Stories appearing on blog.heart.org under the "By American Heart Association News" byline are available for linking, quoting, excerpting and reprinting. Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to the American Heart Association. Additional conditions may apply to the use of these stories in printed materials.
American Heart Association additional conditions for linking, quoting, excerpting, reprinting stories in print media
- A credit line of American Heart Association News must be prominently placed on the page in which the American Heart Association materials appear.
- The American Heart Association logo and service marks may only be used if they appear on the materials requested.
- Stories reprinted may be edited for length, but no other deletions, alterations or other changes may be made without the prior written consent of the American Heart Association.
- Artwork labeled "American Heart Association" may be reprinted, but other artwork may not. For artwork permission questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Stories reprinted may not be placed adjacent to any advertisement, photo, graphic or other content that could be considered inappropriate by the American Heart Association. For questions about whether content is inappropriate, contact email@example.com.
- Stories may not be displayed in any way that gives the appearance that the American Heart Association endorses (implied or otherwise) or is affiliated with any product, service or company.