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South African Medical Journal

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Atherosclerosis and Nutrition with Special Reference to Populations in Africa

ARP Walker

Abstract


Severe atherosclerosis and its sequelae-coronary heart disease, cerebral vascular disease, and peripheral vascular disease-share major responsibility for half the mortality rate in affluent Western populations. In Africa, particularly South Africa, a study of the extent and severity of lesions is particularly interesting because of the different population groups in various stages of transition. In the most primitive populations, evidence shows that lesions are sufficiently mild to be of little or no clinical significance. Among prosperous populations, the conclusion is reached that unless dietary and other changes (relevant to risk factors) are introduced in youth, such changes implemented in later life are unlikely to accomplish much by way of reducing or delaying mortality from atherosclerotic diseases.

S Afr. Med. J., 48, 481 (1974)



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