Posts Tagged ‘Mortality’

Salt, Tea and Blood Pressure in Pastoral Nomads from Phala Tibet

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

These are a few quotes, resources I used in my research relating to the Tibetan Pastoral Nomads and their diet.

Title: Anthropological Fieldwork in Tibet Studying Nomadic Pastoralists on the Changtang
By: Melvyn C. Goldstein and Cynthia M. Beall (Case Western Reserve University)

Quote:

For example, the nomad diet is exclusively animal products and grain, i.e., they consume no vegetables or fruits, yet they show no obvious signs of vitamin or mineral deficiency. And despite the fact that they consume large Quantities of fat and salt from the Tibetan tea (made with butter and salt) they drink throughout the day and from their heavy consumption of meat, cheese and yogurt, they also have low blood pressure–we found no cases of hypertension.

Read the full paper free here: http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1148&context=himalaya

Another quote, this one is from findarticles.com

The high consumption of salt and animal fat does nottranslate into high blood pressure, at least among Tibetan nomads studied last summer by anthropologist Cynthia M. Beall of Case Western Reserve University. Beall, who is working with Goldstein in Tibet, found no cases of hypertension among more than 120 Phala nomads. The average blood pressure of those measured so far is below reported averages for men and women in the United States. The nomads’ diet consists of meat, dairy products, barley flour and tea flavored with salt and butter; fresh fruits and vegetables are scarce at the 3-mile-high elevation. Beall now plans to measure the amount of salt consumed by nomads. Several factors, including extreme altitude, may help to depress blood pressure, she suggests.

Beall uncovered another surprising finding after takingblood samples from 110 Phala men and women and calculating their hemoglobin concentration–a measure that usually increases at high altitudes. Hemoglobin concentration was greater for Phala nomads than for sea-level populations or for Tibetans living at 12,000 feet above sea level, but residents of Chile’s Andes Mountains have the highest known hemoglobin rates at elevations several thousand feet lower than the Tibetan plateau. A larger sample of Phala nomads will be studied for hemoglobin concentration as well as for other measures of oxygen delivery in the body, says Beall.

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Science 1998; 281(14): 898-907. “The (Political) Science of Salt”

Sunday, August 1st, 2010
The (political) science of salt
Gary Taubes. Science. Washington: Aug 14, 1998. Vol. 281, Iss. 5379; pg. 898, 9 pgs

Abstract (Summary)

Taubes discusses the debate over the benefits of salt reduction, which shows how the demands of good science clash with the pressures of public health policy.

Quotes from the full article:

The last 5 years have also seen two studies published-the latest this past March in The Lancet-suggesting that low-salt diets can increase mortality. Both studies were done by Michael Alderman, a hypertension specialist at New York City’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and president of the American Society of Hypertension. Epidemiologists-and Alderman himself-caution against putting too much stock in the studies. “They are yet more association studies,” says Swales. “Any insult you make of Intersalt you can make of those as well.” But Alderman also notes that only a handful of such studies comparing salt intake to mortality have ever been done, and none have come out definitively negative. “People just rely upon statements that [salt reduction] can’t really do any harm,” says Swales. “It may or may not be true. Individual harmful effects can be as small as beneficial effects, and you can’t detect those in clinical trials either.”

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After publication of his second study, Alderman recruited past and present presidents of hypertension societies and the American Heart Association and wrote to Lenfant at the NHLBI “urging prompt appointment of an independent panel of qualified medical and public health scientists to review existing recommendations [on salt consumption] in light of all available data.” In April Lenfant told Science that he had agreed to proceed with the review. If such a panel should convene, Hennekens has one observation worth keeping in mind: “The problem with this field is that people have chosen sides,” he says. “What we ought to do is let the science drive the system rather than the opinions.”

[Sidebar]
TOUCHSTONES OF THE SALT DEBATE
[Sidebar]

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Am J Med 06;119(3):275. “Sodium Intake and Mortality”

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Volume 119, Issue 3, Pages 275.e7-275.e14 (March 2006)

Sodium Intake and Mortality in the NHANES II Follow-up Study

Hillel W. Cohen, MPH, DrPHCorresponding Author Informationemail address, Susan M. Hailpern, MS, DrPH, Jing Fang, MD, Michael H. Alderman, MD

Abstract



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