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Inflammation and infection do not promote arterial aging and cardiovascular disease risk factors among lean horticulturalists.

Gurven M, Kaplan H, Winking J, Eid Rodriguez D, Vasunilashorn S, Kim JK, Finch C, Crimmins E - PLoS ONE (2009)

Bottom Line: Unlike the Tsimane case, higher cholesterol, C-reactive protein, leukocytes, cigarette smoking and systolic pressure among North Americans are all significantly associated with lower ABI.Other possibilities, including genetic susceptibility and the role of helminth infections, are discussed.The absence of PAD and CVD among Tsimane parallels anecdotal reports from other small-scale subsistence populations and suggests that chronic vascular disease had little impact on adult mortality throughout most of human evolutionary history.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Anthropology, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA. gurven@anth.ucsb.edu

ABSTRACT

Background: Arterial aging is well characterized in industrial populations, but scantly described in populations with little access to modern medicine. Here we characterize health and aging among the Tsimane, Amazonian forager-horticulturalists with short life expectancy, high infectious loads and inflammation, but low adiposity and robust physical fitness. Inflammation has been implicated in all stages of arterial aging, atherogenesis and hypertension, and so we test whether greater inflammation associates with atherosclerosis and CVD risk. In contrast, moderate to vigorous daily activity, minimal obesity, and low fat intake predict minimal CVD risk among older Tsimane.

Methods and findings: Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), based on the Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI), and hypertension were measured in Tsimane adults, and compared with rates from industrialized populations. No cases of PAD were found among Tsimane and hypertension was comparatively low (prevalence: 3.5%, 40+; 23%, 70+). Markers of infection and inflammation were much higher among Tsimane than among U.S. adults, whereas HDL was substantially lower. Regression models examine associations of ABI and BP with biomarkers of energy balance and metabolism and of inflammation and infection. Among Tsimane, obesity, blood lipids, and disease history were not significantly associated with ABI. Unlike the Tsimane case, higher cholesterol, C-reactive protein, leukocytes, cigarette smoking and systolic pressure among North Americans are all significantly associated with lower ABI.

Conclusions: Inflammation may not always be a risk factor for arterial degeneration and CVD, but instead may be offset by other factors: healthy metabolism, active lifestyle, favorable body mass, lean diet, low blood lipids and cardiorespiratory health. Other possibilities, including genetic susceptibility and the role of helminth infections, are discussed. The absence of PAD and CVD among Tsimane parallels anecdotal reports from other small-scale subsistence populations and suggests that chronic vascular disease had little impact on adult mortality throughout most of human evolutionary history.

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Prevalence of (A) Peripheral Arterial Disease (ABI<0.9) and (B) Hypertension (SBP≥140 and/or/ DBP>−90), among Tsimane and other populations.Data sources for ABI: urban China [67], urban Mexico [68], South Africa [28], southeast Spain [69], Sweden (Sigvant Birgitta pers comm), Thailand [70], United States [9]. Hypertension data for the same countries come from the World Health Organization Global Infobase, http://www.who.int/infobase/report.aspx. Note: x-axis represents midpoints of age intervals because of the different age intervals reported among studies (e.g. 30–39 vs. 35–44); Hypertension defined as SBP≥140 and/or DBP≥90 except for Sweden where SBP≥160 and/or DBP≥95.
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pone-0006590-g002: Prevalence of (A) Peripheral Arterial Disease (ABI<0.9) and (B) Hypertension (SBP≥140 and/or/ DBP>−90), among Tsimane and other populations.Data sources for ABI: urban China [67], urban Mexico [68], South Africa [28], southeast Spain [69], Sweden (Sigvant Birgitta pers comm), Thailand [70], United States [9]. Hypertension data for the same countries come from the World Health Organization Global Infobase, http://www.who.int/infobase/report.aspx. Note: x-axis represents midpoints of age intervals because of the different age intervals reported among studies (e.g. 30–39 vs. 35–44); Hypertension defined as SBP≥140 and/or DBP≥90 except for Sweden where SBP≥160 and/or DBP≥95.

Mentions: The absence of PAD among Tsimane contrasts with patterns observed in national samples, especially South African blacks (Fig. 2a). PAD increases with age in every investigated population except the Tsimane, ranging from 5–25% for adults over age 70. The comparison includes people in developed and developing countries, in urban and rural settings, but none live in the relatively isolated and infected conditions of the Tsimane.


Inflammation and infection do not promote arterial aging and cardiovascular disease risk factors among lean horticulturalists.

Gurven M, Kaplan H, Winking J, Eid Rodriguez D, Vasunilashorn S, Kim JK, Finch C, Crimmins E - PLoS ONE (2009)

Prevalence of (A) Peripheral Arterial Disease (ABI<0.9) and (B) Hypertension (SBP≥140 and/or/ DBP>−90), among Tsimane and other populations.Data sources for ABI: urban China [67], urban Mexico [68], South Africa [28], southeast Spain [69], Sweden (Sigvant Birgitta pers comm), Thailand [70], United States [9]. Hypertension data for the same countries come from the World Health Organization Global Infobase, http://www.who.int/infobase/report.aspx. Note: x-axis represents midpoints of age intervals because of the different age intervals reported among studies (e.g. 30–39 vs. 35–44); Hypertension defined as SBP≥140 and/or DBP≥90 except for Sweden where SBP≥160 and/or DBP≥95.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2722089&req=5

pone-0006590-g002: Prevalence of (A) Peripheral Arterial Disease (ABI<0.9) and (B) Hypertension (SBP≥140 and/or/ DBP>−90), among Tsimane and other populations.Data sources for ABI: urban China [67], urban Mexico [68], South Africa [28], southeast Spain [69], Sweden (Sigvant Birgitta pers comm), Thailand [70], United States [9]. Hypertension data for the same countries come from the World Health Organization Global Infobase, http://www.who.int/infobase/report.aspx. Note: x-axis represents midpoints of age intervals because of the different age intervals reported among studies (e.g. 30–39 vs. 35–44); Hypertension defined as SBP≥140 and/or DBP≥90 except for Sweden where SBP≥160 and/or DBP≥95.
Mentions: The absence of PAD among Tsimane contrasts with patterns observed in national samples, especially South African blacks (Fig. 2a). PAD increases with age in every investigated population except the Tsimane, ranging from 5–25% for adults over age 70. The comparison includes people in developed and developing countries, in urban and rural settings, but none live in the relatively isolated and infected conditions of the Tsimane.

Bottom Line: Unlike the Tsimane case, higher cholesterol, C-reactive protein, leukocytes, cigarette smoking and systolic pressure among North Americans are all significantly associated with lower ABI.Other possibilities, including genetic susceptibility and the role of helminth infections, are discussed.The absence of PAD and CVD among Tsimane parallels anecdotal reports from other small-scale subsistence populations and suggests that chronic vascular disease had little impact on adult mortality throughout most of human evolutionary history.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Anthropology, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA. gurven@anth.ucsb.edu

ABSTRACT

Background: Arterial aging is well characterized in industrial populations, but scantly described in populations with little access to modern medicine. Here we characterize health and aging among the Tsimane, Amazonian forager-horticulturalists with short life expectancy, high infectious loads and inflammation, but low adiposity and robust physical fitness. Inflammation has been implicated in all stages of arterial aging, atherogenesis and hypertension, and so we test whether greater inflammation associates with atherosclerosis and CVD risk. In contrast, moderate to vigorous daily activity, minimal obesity, and low fat intake predict minimal CVD risk among older Tsimane.

Methods and findings: Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), based on the Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI), and hypertension were measured in Tsimane adults, and compared with rates from industrialized populations. No cases of PAD were found among Tsimane and hypertension was comparatively low (prevalence: 3.5%, 40+; 23%, 70+). Markers of infection and inflammation were much higher among Tsimane than among U.S. adults, whereas HDL was substantially lower. Regression models examine associations of ABI and BP with biomarkers of energy balance and metabolism and of inflammation and infection. Among Tsimane, obesity, blood lipids, and disease history were not significantly associated with ABI. Unlike the Tsimane case, higher cholesterol, C-reactive protein, leukocytes, cigarette smoking and systolic pressure among North Americans are all significantly associated with lower ABI.

Conclusions: Inflammation may not always be a risk factor for arterial degeneration and CVD, but instead may be offset by other factors: healthy metabolism, active lifestyle, favorable body mass, lean diet, low blood lipids and cardiorespiratory health. Other possibilities, including genetic susceptibility and the role of helminth infections, are discussed. The absence of PAD and CVD among Tsimane parallels anecdotal reports from other small-scale subsistence populations and suggests that chronic vascular disease had little impact on adult mortality throughout most of human evolutionary history.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus