Prevalence of Atherosclerosis in Alaska Eskimos High

Have similar risk factors for cardiovascular disease as general population

FRIDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Despite their traditional diet high in fish oils that are protective against coronary artery disease, Alaska Eskimos have higher rates of atherosclerosis than the general United States population and similar risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to a report published online July 10 in Stroke.

Alexis Cutchins, M.D., from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and colleagues investigated the prevalence of subclinical vascular disease by assessing cardiovascular risk factors and performing carotid ultrasound in 1,214 Alaska Eskimos.

The researchers found that carotid intimal-medial thickness and the presence and extent of atherosclerosis were primarily associated with established cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes and smoking, but not dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids. However, the rates of carotid atherosclerosis were higher in the study subjects than in the general U.S. population.

"Alaska Eskimos have similar traditional risk factors for carotid atherosclerosis as other ethnic and racial populations but have higher prevalences of atherosclerosis, possibly due to higher rates of smoking," Cutchins and colleagues conclude.

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