Thursday, March 17, 2011

Paleolithic Model Presented to Cardiologists

The Western Diet and Lifestyle and Diseases of Civilization

Another common counterargument is the short average life expectancy at birth of hunter–gatherers. The problem with this marker is that it is influenced by fatal events (eg, acci- dents, warfare, infections, exposure to the elements) and childhood mortality. Today, average life expectancy is higher not because of a healthier diet and lifestyle but owing to better sanitation, vaccination, antibiotics, quarantine policies, medical care, political and social stability, and less physical trauma.66  Moreover, Gurven and Kaplan,149  in a recent assessment of the mortality profiles of extant hunter–gatherers for which sufficient high-quality demographic data exist, concluded that “modal adult life span is 68–78 years, and that it was not uncommon for individuals to reach these ages”.
Of more importance, these individuals reached age 60 years or beyond without the signs and symptoms of chronic degenerative diseases that afflict the majority of the elderly in industrialized countries.66  Furthermore, in western countries, various illnesses and conditions, such as obesity, type 2 dia- betes, gout, hypertension, coronary heart disease (CHD), and epithelial cell cancers, which are rare or virtually absent in hunter–gatherers, horticulturalists, and traditional pastoralists, are now increasing in younger age groups. 26,64–66  Finally, the fossil record suggests that when hunter–gatherer populations made the transition to an agricultural pattern of subsistence, their health status and lifespan decreased. 26,109,150

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