Tribal populations’ risk of cardiovascular diseases due to urbanization – study by Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in Calcutta

PRASUN BHATTACHARYA, The Telegraph, March 19 , 2008

Rapid urbanisation in the hills is exposing the Bhutias to mounting levels of stress and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, says a recently published study that contradicts the traditional belief that the members of the tribal community are characterised by their strong heart. […]

Lifestyle factors like fat-rich food, inadequate physical exercise and smoking are known to cause cardiovascular diseases. Tribal populations, especially the ones living in the mountains, are usually thought to be free of these diseases as they follow a different lifestyle that includes a lot of physical activity.

The ISI study, however, paints a different picture.

Mukhopadhyay and researcher Sobhanjan Sarkar conducted the study in Sikkim on 428 Bhutias, aged 20 years and above, from both sexes and living in rural and urban settings. They chose one ethnic group to maintain the homogeneity of the study. The Bhutias are also the largest single group living in both urban and rural areas. […]

Source: The Telegraph – Calcutta (Kolkata) | North Bengal & Sikkim | ‘Vices’ of urban lifestyle put hill tribe at health risk
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“It was assumed that tribal people have same health problems, similar needs and hence the uniform national pattern of rural health care would be applicable to them as well, albeit with some alteration in population: provider ratio. The different terrain and environment in which they live, different social systems, different culture and hence different health care needs were not addressed.”– Abhay Bang, Chairman, Expert Committee on Tribal health (2018 Report of the Expert Committee on Tribal Health)

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