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Am J Hum Biol. 2006 Jan;18(1):10-22.

Blood pressure, seasonal body fat, heart rate, and ecological differences in Caboclo populations of the Brazilian Amazon.

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Departamento de Antropologia, Setor de Antropologia Biológica, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.


This study compares blood pressure (BP) and related cardiovascular risk factors among three Caboclo communities from the Brazilian Amazon. Its purpose is to investigate possible risk differentials related to variable ecological settings and Western influences. Caxiuan√£ is characterized as a more "traditional" group, while Aracampina and Santana are viewed as more "transitional" in lifestyle. A total of 348 subjects from the three communities were evaluated in the wet or the dry season or in both. Measurements across the communities were compared by season and sex. Results suggest little seasonal variation in average BP, BP change, body fat, or body fat change among men. Conversely, there is substantial seasonal and inter-community variation among women. Additional analyses reveal (1) an inconsistent association between age and BP across the communities; (2) that BMI is not associated with BP transitional communities in either season but is associated with both systolic and diastolic pressure in the most traditional community; and (3) little to no sex effect on BP. These results suggest increased Western influence affects body composition particularly of women. However, increased BMI and fat among transitional Caboclo women does not directly translate into higher BP; rather, their BP appears to be more affected by seasonal stresses. Finally, conditions during the wet season diminish age-related variation in BP, suggesting that during the wet season these Caboclo may be less active.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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