Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alaskan Eskimos' High Rates Of Artery Plaque Could Be From High Smoking

Date:
July 14, 2008
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Alaskan Inuit people have higher rates of fatty-plaque lined arteries than other Americans, possibly because they smoke more and are increasing other unhealthy behaviors. An observational population study found that 60 percent of adult Eskimos smoke at least three times more than other US populations. Researchers said heart protection that should come with Eskimos' high fish diet may be negated by smoking.

Alaskan Inuit peoples' (Eskimos’) significantly higher rates of fatty artery plaque than the general U.S. population may be due to unhealthy lifestyle habits, researchers report in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Related Articles


Researchers found that more than half of Alaskan Eskimo adults smoke, their level of physical activity has decreased from traditional levels, and their intake of saturated and trans fats, rather than heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids (found in fish), has increased.

“Traditionally, American Eskimos have not had much cardiovascular disease, but more recent population surveys have shown that cardiovascular disease is increasing in this population,” said Mary J. Roman, M.D., lead author of the study. “We sought to confirm this increase and determine whether it was related to the things that cause coronary heart disease in other populations or something else.”

In the Genetics of Coronary Artery Disease in Alaska Natives (GOCADAN) study, researchers examined extensive medical histories, dietary surveys, blood analyses and ultrasound images of carotid arteries of more than 1,200 Eskimo adults (average age 42) in Alaskan villages to determine if signs of atherosclerosis – fatty plaque buildup – were present before symptoms occurred.

“Carotid arteries are the major arteries taking blood up to the brain,” said Roman, a professor of medicine in the cardiology division at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, N.Y. “We looked for thickening of the lining of the arteries, called intimal-medial thickness, and whether there was evidence of plaque or fatty buildup, known as atherosclerosis.

“Since atherosclerosis is a systemic disease, if you see it in one artery of the body, there is a high likelihood that it is also present in the coronary arteries, or the heart,” Roman said.

Researchers found that the thickness of the lining of the carotid arteries was not much different in Alaskan Eskimos than in other population groups; however, Alaskan Eskimos’ rates of atherosclerosis were from 50 percent to 150 percent higher than those of the general U.S. population under the age of 65 depending on age and gender.

Traditionally, Eskimos eat a diet high in heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids found in fish.

“However, the data in this report suggest that Alaskan Eskimos may have negated the protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids by increased rates of smoking, decreased physical activity, and increased intake of saturated and trans fats,” Roman said.

“In our study, 63 percent of Alaskan men and 57 percent of Alaskan Eskimo women were current smokers. That’s astronomical — three times to five times higher than rates in the U.S. population as measured in some recent studies.”

According the American Heart Association, in 2005, 23.9 percent of U.S. men and 18.1 percent of U.S. women were current cigarette smokers.

Even with a heart-healthy diet and exercise, smoking is a powerful and overwhelming stimulus for developing atherosclerosis, Roman said.

“This study is important because it is an observational, epidemiological look at a population that heretofore has not been studied in this manner,” she said. “It also shows that all the effort we’ve put, as a nation, into promoting the negative effects of smoking have not penetrated this population.”

Roman said the study is patterned after other research looking at risk factors, prevalence and incidence of cardiovascular disease among American Indians.

“Lifestyle changes among American Indians are prompting an increase in diabetes prevalence and higher rates of traditional heart disease risk factors, she said. “This seems to be happening among Alaskan Eskimos as well.”

Co-authors are Alexis Cutchins, M.D.; Richard B. Devereux, M.D.; Sven O. E. Ebbesson, Ph.D.; Jason G. Umans, M.D., Ph.D.; Jianhui Zhu, Ph.D.; Neil J. Weissman, M.D.; and Barbara V. Howard, Ph.D.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Alaskan Eskimos' High Rates Of Artery Plaque Could Be From High Smoking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080710170558.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2008, July 14). Alaskan Eskimos' High Rates Of Artery Plaque Could Be From High Smoking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080710170558.htm
American Heart Association. "Alaskan Eskimos' High Rates Of Artery Plaque Could Be From High Smoking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080710170558.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins