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Med J Aust. 1978 Jan 14;1(1):1-5.

Lifestyle, health and disease: a comparison between Papua New Guinea and Australia.


The proposition that lifestyle is a major determinant of community health is explored by contrasting the features of a rural subsistence community in the highlands of Papua New Guinea and the features of the community in urbanized, industrialized Australia. Reference is made to differences in physical environment, housing, work, social situation, human relationships, patterns of disease, population statistics, diet, growth, obesity, physical fitness, blood lipid concentrations, blood pressure, salt intake and the occurrence of hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and signs of degenerative changes in various tissues. The Papua New Guinea community is seen as a self-reliant, self-contained, socially cohesive subsistence society whose members are well adapted to their physical and social environment, free from major degenerative cardiovascular diseases, with little overt psychiatric illness, but with a heavy burden of infectious disease, with marginal nutritional levels of degenerative disease and disease from psychological stress. It is clear that health, in its fullest sense, is not the prerogative of any one type of society.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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