This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
To the Editor.—
Diabetes mellitus is rare in Alaskan natives (Bering Sea coastal Eskimos, Arctic Ocean coastal Eskimos, Athabascan Indians, and Aleuts). Mouratoff and Scott's report (226:1345, 1973) suggests that the Eskimos' high glucose tolerance may be associated with physical exertion rather than a genetic origin. I would suggest that the data as presented are also consistent with a genetic origin.Routine inquiry to my patients concerning family history of diabetes also includes an assessment of racial background. Most of the diabetic Alaskan natives that I have encountered have European or Russian ancestors, and often the patient can identify these forebearers as also being diabetics!Like Mouratoff and Scott, I have seen very few Alaskan natives with diabetes; I have seen no full-blooded Alaskan natives with childhood-onset, insulin-dependent diabetes. If their conclusion were correct that physical activity and fitness are important factors in the prevention of clinical diabetes, the white
Quick WW. Diabetes in Eskimos. JAMA. 1974;227(12):1383. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230250015014
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: