Amazon group has world's healthiest arteries, say scientists

Indigenous Bolivians have some of the healthiest hearts

The Tsimane people of the Bolivian Amazon have the healthiest arteries of any population yet studied.

The tribe's lifestyle was considered a factor for its healthy hearts, but critics noted that the members of the Tsimane forager-farmer community lived hand-to-mouth and shouldn't be hailed as a global model, Agence France-Presse reported.

Researchers said the study came from the need to comprehend coronary artery disease.

Scientists recommend that people should exercise more often and not just on the weekends. "They basically have the physiology of a 20-year-old". They found that by the age of 45, nearly no Tsimane had CAC in their arteries, a remarkable result opposed to American's 25 percent rate of CAC. research found that by the time they are 75 years old, only one-third of Tsimane will show signs of CAC, while an 80 percent of Americans will show CAC signs by the same age.

"Kaplan and his team felt they had rarely seen any heart disease in this Amazonian tribe", Thomas said. How they manage to have such healthy hearts basically comes down to naturally doing what doctors generally recommend. Only 3 percent had a severe degree of calcium, a score over 400.

Researchers took CT scans of the hearts of 705 adults aged 40-94 in 85 villages in 2014 and 2015 for the study.

In contrast, as shown by earlier research, only 14 percent of similarly aged Americans have no preexisting risk of heart disease.

"The average middle-aged Tsimane has arteries that are about 28 years younger than those of Westerners", said Dr. Randall Thompson, a cardiologist at St. Luke's Health System in Kansas City, Missouri, who led the new work. People in the group spend a lot of their time hunting and farming. The women are physically active 4 to 6 hours a day, and average about 16,000 steps. Their diet is high in carbohydrates and low in sugar and fats, consisting of rice, plantain, cassava root, corn, nuts and fruits, and some animal meat. "They mainly use cigarettes to burn these huge flies out of their skin, down there in the rainforest", he said.

Rates of diseases other than heart disease were much higher in the Tsimane than in the West, particularly for infections like tuberculosis, added Dr Chico.

Researchers looked carefully at both diet and exercise, along with CT scans to check lifestyle along with signs of clogged arteries in every age group of the hunting and gathering community.

By contrast, many people in the US are sedentary and inactive most of the day.

"The guidelines aren't created to maximally reduce your risk", Jacoby said.

Even though they eat mostly carbs, the Tsimane people did not have a prevalence of the metabolic diseases that are common in the United States, such as diabetes. The health benefits of the Tsimane lifestyle did not stop there.

"The authors conclude that genetics only play a minor part in the causation of coronary disease".

"There are real genetic risk factors that have an impact on whether a person will have a heart attack or stroke, and living healthy will not fully overcome that risk".

Commenting on the study, Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said lessons could be learned from the Tsimane's way of life to reduce the risk of heart disease.

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