The authors reviewed the cases of 19 Alaskan Natives (15 men, four women) with primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) diagnosed during 1980-1985. Of these 19 patients, 16 were seropositive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) was elevated in 15 patients (all were HBsAg positive). The patients ranged in age from 8 to 80 years old. Of the 19 patients, 16 were Eskimo, 13 of whom were Yupik. The annual age-adjusted (world standard) incidence of HCC for all Alaskan Natives was 9.3/100,000 for men and 2.2/100,000 for women. The tumor was resected in seven patients; six showed no recurrence of cancer 1 to 4 years after surgery. Histologic evaluation in 18 patients revealed trabecular type of HCC in 15 and acinar HCC in two others. In 16 specimens in which nontumorous liver could be studied, only six had evidence of cirrhosis; ten others showed variants of chronic persistent hepatitis.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 2217.
The records of thirty-one patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) diagnosed from 1966 through 1976 among the Alaskan native population (Eskimo, Aleut, Indian) were reviewed. There were 25 males and six females, which results in relatively high incidence rates per 100,000 of 13.5 for males and 3.7 for females. Clinical and pathologic features were similar to those found among southern Chinese NPC patients. Five-year survival rate was 48%. Antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus were higher in NPC patients than in patients with other tumors or matched controls. On histocompatibility testing Sin-2 was not detected, nor was there significantly increased frequency of A2. Instead, BW40 and a second locus blank occurred more often among NPC patients than among other groups. In response to a questionnaire, NPC patients more often reported use of salt fish in the childhood diet, smoking of cigarettes, and exposure to noxious inhalants than did controls, but the differences were not statistically significant.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage.
This is the inaugural issue of the Communicable Disease Bulletin which has replaced the Communicable Disease Report. The Bulletin will be issued twice a month and is designed to provide rapid up-to-date reports of communicable disease problems in the community. When space permits we will provide informative material on various health topics.
Roentgenographic and anthropologic studies have shown a high incidence of spondylolysis in Eskimo populations. It is uncertain whether this is related to a genetic predisposition or to environmental factors. This study of recent roentgenograms and demographic characteristics of patients of the authors' institution notes a lower incidence in Eskimo populations than prior skeletal and roentgenographic studies. An attempt is made to quantitate the contributions of environmental factors and genetic predisposition. A higher incidence was found in full-blooded Eskimos than in part-blooded Eskimos. Rural-dwelling Eskimos had a higher incidence than urban-dwelling Eskimos. Eskimo subpopulations had a greater incidence than Athabascan Indians. Eskimos with spondylolysis were significantly more likely to have an associated spondylolisthesis than Athabascans with spondylolysis. Symptoms in the Eskimo population related to spondylolysis and associated spondylolisthesis rarely warrant surgical intervention.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 2653.
Before adopting modern corn-and-grain-based western processed diets, circumpolar people had a high fat and protein subsistence diet and exhibited a low incidence of obesity, diabetes and
cardiovascular disease. Some health benefits are attributable to a subsistence diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Pollution, both global and local, is a threat to wild foods, as it introduces contaminants into the food system. Northern indigenous people and their sled dogs are exposed to a variety of contaminants, including mercury, that accumulate in the fish and game that they consume. The sled dogs in Alaskan villages are maintained on the same subsistence foods as their human counterparts, primarily salmon, and therefore they can be used as a food systems model for researching the impact of changes in dietary components. In this study, the antioxidant status and mercury levels were measured for village sled dogs along the Yukon River. A reference kennel, maintained on a nutritionally balanced commercial diet, was also measured for comparison. Total antioxidant status was inversely correlated with the
external stressor mercury.
Alaskan Natives (Eskimos, Indians, Aleuts) are at increased risk of developing nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) and there is family clustering of NPC. This study reviewed the total cancer experience of relatives of NPC patients and found that siblings of Eskimo NPC patients had a nearly threefold risk. No cancer family syndrome was identified and the cancers diagnosed in the siblings were similar to those seen in the general Alaskan Eskimo population.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 2179.