In the Bolivian Amazon, there’s a group with the healthiest arteries of all populations ever studied.
Among the Tsimane (pronounced chee-mah-nay) people – a remote society of foragers and horticulturalists – hardening of the arteries is five times less common than in the United States, researchers have found.
The study included 705 Tsimane adults between ages 40 and 94. Researchers did CT scans of the heart and measured weight, age, heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and inflammation. They found that most – 85 percent – had no risk of heart disease. Only 3 percent had a moderate to high risk of heart disease.
“Most of the Tsimane are able to live their entire life without developing any coronary atherosclerosis,” the study’s senior author Gregory S. Thomas, M.D., medical director at MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Memorial in California, said in a news release. “This has never been seen in any prior research.”