Image: Michael Gurven
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States accounting for roughly 1 in 4 deaths every year. But there’s a part of the world where heart disease is so rare that it’s practically unheard of.
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Research has shown that the Tsimane people of Bolivia have "the lowest reported level of coronary artery disease of any population recorded to date." Using calcium plaque as a measure of heart disease, their hearts are much healthier than those of people who live in the United States, Europe, as well as Asian countries with advanced economies and health care system like Korea and Japan.
"If you think of the calcium plaque as a reasonable measure of arterial age, their arteries are 28 to 30 years younger than ours," cardiologist Randall Thompson and one of the authors of the study said to The Washington Post. "Obviously the Tsimane are achieving something that we are not."
So, what’s their secret? Well, let’s just hope it’s not their diet. You see, the Tsimane people eat monkeys, wild pig, and piranhas for dinner.
Read the full story by Peter Whoriskey over at The Washington Post’s Wonkblog.