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  Table of Contents  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 389-390

Incidence of diabetes and hypertension in indigenous Amerindian village in Guyana, South America

1 Department of Surgery and Preventative Medicine and Biostatistics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and Walter Reed NNMC, Bethesda, MD, USA
2 Department of Medicine, Central Michigan University College of Medicine, Saginaw, MI, USA
3 Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
4 Department of Medicine, Uniformed Service University, Bethesda, MD, USA

Date of Web Publication29-Aug-2016

Correspondence Address:
R M Jindal
Department of Surgery, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and Walter Reed NNMC, 8901 Wisconsin Av, Bethesda, MD 20889
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-4065.181471

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How to cite this article:
Jindal R M, Soni R, Mehta K, Patel T G. Incidence of diabetes and hypertension in indigenous Amerindian village in Guyana, South America. Indian J Nephrol 2016;26:389-90

How to cite this URL:
Jindal R M, Soni R, Mehta K, Patel T G. Incidence of diabetes and hypertension in indigenous Amerindian village in Guyana, South America. Indian J Nephrol [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 May 28];26:389-90. Available from:


We carried out a detailed survey of the adult population in the remote Amerindian indigenous village (Santa Mission) Guyana, South America. The village is home to approximately 200 people of mainly Arawak descent, where there is no health care. [1] The approximately 740,000 people living in the country is made up out of Amerindians (5.3%), Blacks (30.5%), East Indians (51.4%), Chinese (0.2%), White (2.1%), and Mixed (10%). [1] Population mix of the country lends itself to anthropological, social, lifestyle, and genetic studies which may yield important information. [2]

We previously reported our pilot data in which we screened 619 people in Guyana. [3] This work was part of the SEVAK Project in Guyana and India. [4]

There were several similarities in the characteristics of the Amerindian indigenous people and the nonindigenous people. There was no difference in the age, marital status, access to clean drinking water, incidence of smoking, alcohol use, or drug abuse. None of the homes had indoor toilets while 83.6% had indoor toilets in the nonindigenous people. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus was 13.9%, and that of hypertension was 29.4% in the nonindigenous group versus 5.4% and 12.5%, respectively, in the indigenous group [Table 1].
Table 1: Baseline characteristics of sample population of Santa Mission (n=56)

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We were intrigued by the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension in the two groups. The low incidence of these conditions could be attributed to a variety of reasons such as nomadic lifestyle, genetic, or unknown factors. The incidence of obesity between the two groups was similar. This is in contrast to the high incidence of diabetes and hypertension in the native American-Indians in the US. [5]

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

National Report on Indigenous Peoples and Development United Nations Development Programme, Country Office: Guyana. Available from: [Last accessed on 2015 Dec 25].  Back to cited text no. 1
Mulligan CJ, Hunley K, Cole S, Long JC. Population genetics, history, and health patterns in native Americans. Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet 2004;5:295-315.  Back to cited text no. 2
Jindal RM,Mehta K,Soni R, Doyle A, Patel TG. Diabetes, hypertension, sanitation and health education by high school students in Guyana,South America. Indian J Nephrol [Epub ahead of print]. Available from:   Back to cited text no. 3
Jindal RM, Mehta K, Soni R, Patel TG. SEVAK Project in India and Guyana Modeled After the Independent Duty Corpsman of the U.S. Navy. Mil Med 2015;180:1205-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
Galloway JM. Cardiovascular health among American Indians and Alaska Natives: Successes, challenges, and potentials. Am J Prev Med 2005;29 5 Suppl 1:11-7.  Back to cited text no. 5


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