Secular trends in skinfold thicknesses and body fat distribution were examined in the adult Inuit of Igloolik, N.W.T. through surveys conducted in 1969/70, 1979/80 and 1989/93. Findings were compared with the nGanasan population of Volochanka (Taimir peninsula, Siberia), who were examined in 1992/3. The skinfold readings of the Inuit have increased over the two decades of observation. Currently, the young male Inuit and nGanasan remain relatively thin, but older Inuit men and the women of both populations are now quite obese relative to subjects from Southern Canada. The male Inuit have also developed a centripetal, coronary-prone pattern of fat distribution, with subscapular/triceps skinfold ratios that now exceed averages for southern Canada. The majority of both Inuit and nGanasan are current smokers and many fail to meet minimal standards of aerobic performance. Plasma cholesterol levels are still not very high, but a substantial proportion of the nGanasan are affected by hypertension; their source of animal protein is reindeer meat rather than the marine mammals eaten in Igloolik. Alcohol consumption is also higher in Volochanka than in Igloolik. Action is needed to control smoking, reduce body fat content and increase physical activity if circumpolar populations are not to experience an epidemic of cardiovascular disease.
People of South Asian origin constitute a large, visible minority in Canada and are known to be at heightened risk for premature coronary artery disease. Conventional risk factors clearly confer risk in South Asians but do not adequately explain their excess risk compared with other populations. Rates of smoking, hypertension and levels of low density lipoprotein-cholesterol tend to be similar or lower in South Asians, although diabetes is more prevalent. Recent studies have suggested that the metabolic syndrome and abdominal obesity may play a causative role in both the prevalence of diabetes and the premature atherosclerosis noted in South Asians. It is possible that genetically susceptible individuals develop abdominal obesity and insulin resistance when exposed to a toxic environment of reduced energy expenditure and increased caloric consumption. This pattern is increasingly noted in parallel with urbanization, suggesting that the increased cardiovascular risk in South Asians may be preventable through lifestyle interventions and the judicious use of medicines to attain optimal levels of blood pressure, lipids and glucose.
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The prevalence rates of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and coronary heart disease (CHD) in Ontario Oji-Cree are among the world's highest. Since metabolic syndrome (MetS) increases risk of T2DM and CHD, we characterized prevalence and putative genetic determinants of MetS in Oji-Cree.
In 515 adult (> or = 18 years old) and 115 adolescent ( or = 35 years of age, had MetS. Furthermore, 33.9 and 8.7% of female Oji-Cree adults and adolescents, respectively, had MetS. Increased waist girth and depressed HDL cholesterol were the most prevalent individual MetS components, while increased blood pressure was least prevalent. AGT T174M, GNB3 825C>T, and APOC3 -455T>C genotypes were significantly associated with MetS (P = 0.018, 0.0056, and 0.029, respectively) for female adults, whereas FABP2 A54T genotype was associated with MetS (P = 0.040) for female adolescents.
The high MetS prevalence in Oji-Cree adults, especially women, is consistent with their high risk of T2DM and CHD. Functional polymorphisms in three candidate genes for plasma lipoproteins and blood pressure were associated with MetS in adult Oji-Cree. Furthermore, several female adolescents met the adult MetS criteria, suggesting that the genesis of MetS begins in youth, especially among aboriginal females.
BACKGROUND: Male migrants from Finland to Sweden have been found to have a reduced risk of coronary heart disease after several years in Sweden. Changes in smoking habits may contribute to this reduced risk. AIMS: A study was undertaken to compare smoking habits in Finnish migrants to Sweden and subjects always living in Finland and to analyse whether the migration may have influenced smoking. METHODS: The study population consisted of same-sex twin pairs born in Finland younger than 76 years with at least one twin that had migrated to Sweden (n = 1,083 pairs). Smoking habits obtained by mailed questionnaire were compared in migration-discordant twin pairs to take into account early childhood and genetic factors. RESULTS: Immigrants and returnees with a history of smoking had predominantly started to smoke before the migration. Among women, immigrants to Sweden smoked more than never migrants in Finland, odds ratio (OR) 2.1 for current smokers (95% confidence interval CI 1.4-3.3) but this difference was already present before migration. In men there were essentially no differences in smoking prevalence between immigrants and never migrants but heavy smoking was less common among immigrants than among never migrant smokers, OR 0.5 (95% CI 0.2-0.9) and migration was associated with a greater propensity to cease smoking. CONCLUSIONS: Migration from Finland to Sweden does not seem to have had a strong influence on smoking among migrants. A favourable trend in smoking habits after migration may in part have contributed to reduced mortality and incidence of coronary heart disease in male Finnish migrants after several years in Sweden.
The shift away from traditional lifestyle in the Inuit population over the past few decades has been associated with an increased prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure (BP) and diabetes. However, the impact of this transition on the pro-inflammatory marker high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) has not been documented.
To examine the prevalence of elevated plasma hs-CRP concentrations in Inuit from Nunavik in the province of Quebec (Canada) and identify anthropometric, biochemical and lifestyle risk factors associated with elevated hs-CRP.
A population-representative sample of 801 Inuit residents from 14 villages of Nunavik, aged between 18 and 74 years, was included in the analyses. Subjects participated in a clinical session and completed questionnaires on lifestyle. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine risk factors for elevated hs-CRP.
Elevated plasma hs-CRP concentrations (= 2 mg/L) were present in 32.7% (95% confidence interval (CI) 29.5-35.8) of the Inuit adult population and were more prevalent among women than among men (36.7% vs. 29.0%, p=0.007). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that every 1 mmHg increase in systolic BP was associated with a 3% increase in the odds of having hs-CRP concentrations = 2 mg/L in the Inuit population (95% CI 1.01-1.04). The combination of older age (= 50 vs.