Pima people – Wikipedia

December 10, 2017



The Keli Akimel O’odham and the Onk Akimel O’odham have various environmentally based health issues related to the decline of their traditional economy and farming. They have the highest prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the world, much more than is observed in other U.S. populations. While they do not have a greater risk than other tribes, the Pima people have been the subject of intensive study of diabetes, in part because they form a homogeneous group.[13]

The general increased diabetes prevalence among Native Americans has been hypothesized as the result of the interaction of genetic predisposition (the thrifty phenotype or thrifty genotype), as suggested by anthropologist Robert Ferrell in 1984)[13] and a sudden shift in diet during the last century from traditional agricultural crops to processed foods, together with a decline in physical activity. For comparison, genetically similar O’odham in Mexico have only a slighter higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes than non-O’odham Mexicans.[14]

study sponsored by NIH NIDDK