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Article
August 8, 1959

INCIDENCE OF CHOLECYSTITIS AND OTHER DISEASES AMONG PIMA INDIANS OF SOUTHERN ARIZONA

Author Affiliations

Sacaton, Ariz.

From the U. S. Public Health Service Indian Hospital. Dr. Hesse is now with the Department of Surgery, State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, N. Y.

JAMA. 1959;170(15):1789-1790. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010150033009
Abstract

Among 2,688 Pima Indians above the age of 15 years there were 125 hospital admissions for cholecystitis during a two-year period. During that same period only three cases of myocardial infarction were definitely diagnosed, no patient was treated for angina pectoris, and no case of peptic ulcer was reported. The average Pima Indian was found to consume 2,800 calories daily, and fats comprised 24% of the calories intake, with 87% being animal fat; lard was used almost exclusively as a cooking fat. Meat and vegetables were usually eaten about once a week. The role of diet in the etiology of the disease pattern among Pima Indians is consistent with current thinking as to the pathogenesis of degenerative heart disease.

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