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March 25, 1974

Diabetes in Eskimos-Reply

Author Affiliations

Alaska Native Health Service Barrow, Alaska

JAMA. 1974;227(12):1383. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230250015015

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To the Editor.—  It is interesting that Drs. Mouratoff and Scott have not found any new diabetics in their Eskimo study population since 1962. Our group of Eskimo diabetics may be of interest.The native population of Barrow in the 1970 census was 2,313. Of those, 14% (315) were over 44 years of age. Seven patients have currently been proven to have diabetes mellitus, and two are suspect. All patients have been discovered since 1966. Records are not available to indicate whether there were any previously discovered diabetics since deceased.A profile of the patients in the Table shows that all patients except two had onset after age 65, and all are somewhat overweight. This group by no means monopolizes age or adiposity in this town, however.Whether this incidence of diabetes reflects overweight and increasing conformity to the "standards of Western civilization," as the authors suggest, or merely is