Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Yanomami and hypertension

Statistical connections between elevated blood pressure and stress have been made for a number of human populations.

Yanomami are the tribes of roughly twenty thousand Amazonian Indians living in 200 to 250 villages along the border between Venezuela and Brazil. The yanomami diet consists of locally grown crops, nuts, insects, fish and game. It contains less than a gram of salt a day, the lowest salt intake recorded for any population.

Cultivation of crops accounts for about 80% of Yanomami food grown in a series of ‘garden’ usually about 5 hectares in size which are cleared from the forest not far from the Yano.

The Yanomami have very low average blood pressure and no hypertension. Studying the salt intake and blood pressure of the Yanomami and 51 other populations around the globe helped to establish a relationship between salt intake and hypertension; diets that are high in salt are associated with an increased incidence of hypertension.

The findings in the Yanomami population were as follows: a very low urinary sodium excretion (0.9 mmol/24h); mean systolic and diastolic BP levels of 95.4 mmHg and 61.4 mmHg, respectively; no cases of hypertension or obesity; and they have no knowledge of alcoholic beverages. Their BP levels do not elevate with age. The urinary sodium excretion relates positively and the urinary potassium excretion relates negatively to systolic BP (Arq Bras Cardiol, volume 80 (nÂș 3), 295-300, 2003).
Yanomami and hypertension

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