Death has many causes and correlations.
Less death in sunny areas, high altitudes, low latitudes, rich people, educated people, good access to high quality health care, large cities, Chinese food, natural, organic foods.
Around here we have too much tobacco, alcohol, guns, drugs, junk food, fossil fuels, poverty, deflation, low altitude, mosquitos, rain, clouds, cold, computers, TV,…
People very quickly start to resemble the people around them.
Exercise is very important, and natural foods.
I am headed to gym first thing in the morning where big crowds of people bucking the trend by exercise.
Everybody needs peer pressure to stay fit and eat right.
Bad peers lead to early death.
Bad habits rub off on those around them.
Very hard to analyze mortality data to correlate with diet and lifestyle.
Can be done and agrees with common sense.
There are big pockets of good and bad within any large state.
California has very smoggy polluted areas very close to areas clean ocean air.
Fresno is called Death Valley by some.
The Tsimane are a native population in the Amazon who make a living by hunting, fishing, foraging and farming.
The group has preserved their culture and language for thousands of years.
And their way of life is incredibly good at protecting the heart, in The Lancet.
Of Tsimane people over age 40, about 85 percent have no atherosclerosis.
And nearly two-thirds over age 75 were apparently free of arterial plaque.
Compare that to Americans — who have exactly the opposite statistics.
Nearly 85 percent of Americans over age 45 have atherosclerosis.
And only 14 percent are free of the plaque.
That data means the heart of an 80-year-old Tsimane has the “vascular age” of an American in his or her mid-50s.
And the Tsimane have officially dethroned Japanese women as the group of people with the healthiest hearts in the world, the study reports.
The Tsimane now have the lowest levels of coronary artery disease ever recorded.
“I was just floored by the data,” Thomas says. “The Tsimane have extraordinarily healthy hearts.”
So what’s their secret?
To figure that out, Thomas and his colleagues measured the amount of calcium deposited in the coronary arteries of more than 700 Tsimanes between age 40 and 94.
The team also measured other factors connected to heart disease, such as blood pressure, body-mass index, cholesterol levels and inflammation levels.
On the surface, it wasn’t clearcut that the Tsimane’s would have such remarkable heart health. Their risk factors for heart disease are a mixed bag.
The group has low blood pressure and low cholesterol, on average. But they have low levels of the “good” cholesterol and high levels of chronic inflammation, which has been linked to heart disease.
In terms of weight: None of the Tsimane are obese but about a quarter of adults qualify as “overweight,” says Michael Gurven, an anthropologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who contributed to the study.
The average BMI was about 24, which is near the upper end of normal, with a BMI of 25 considered overweight. “So it’s not that they are super-lean,” Gurven says.
The Tsimane get a ton of exercise, Gurven says, but it’s not really intense exercise.
“I think there’s a general stereotype that if you’re a hunter-gatherer and farmer, that you’re exercising vigorously every day, like the equivalent of running a marathon, and that’s not the case,” Gurven says. “It’s really just that they’re not sedentary.”
Instead the Tsimanes do a lot of walking — about 7 1/2 miles each day. And they’re active for more than 90 percent of daylight hours. In contrast, Americans spend about half their waking hours sitting down.
And finally, there’s diet. When you hear “hunter-gatherer,” people often think of the meat-packed paleodiet. But the Tsimane diet couldn’t be further from that.
More than 70 percent of their calories come from carbohydrates — ones that are packed with fiber, such as corn, cassava and plantains. The other 30 percent of the calories are split evenly between protein and fat. The Tsimane eat no transfat and very little simple sugars. In contrast, Americans still eat more than a gram of transfat each day and 22 teaspoons of extra sugar.