Epidemiological and nutritional research on prevention of cardiovascular disease in China
Sommaire de l'article
Anthropological evidence suggests that regional differences in eating practices may be characterized by sub-ethnicity. Hakka is one sub-ethnicity who still retain a unique way of life in China.
A field survey on diet and health among the Hakka people was undertaken in 1994. Approximately 200 participants were interviewed for their medical history, life-style and food habits. Blood pressure, body mass index, blood sample, 24 h urine and electrocardiogram were collected. The food samples taken from one tenth of the participants were analyzed for the ingredients in their daily meals.
From this survey the prevalence of hypertension in Hakka was approximately 10 %. The sodium/potassium ratio was lower than that in Guangzhou and comparable with that in Okinawa, the island of longevity in Japan. For men, taurine level was found to be close to that in Mediterranean countries, where there is low mortality from cardiovascular diseases. For women, the taurine level was even higher, approximating that of Japanese women, who show the greatest longevity and lowest cardiac mortality worldwide. Less obesity was found in Hakka people than that in the US, Canada or Japan.
These findings suggest that the following are the major reasons for these positive findings: the Hakka people maintain traditional food habits and maintain active awareness of their health; the major foods are rice, fish, vegetables and fruits; wide use of soybeans; extensive consumption of visceral organs which have rich source of trace elements. These eating practices and nutritional patterns may be beneficial factors for preventing atherosclerosis and hypertension.