2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Diabetes in Native American Groups
Sarah C. Foltz
Dr. Bonnie Mitchell, Faculty Mentor

I am researching the history of diabetes in Native American groups because I am exploring the possibility that diabetes was once beneficial to pre-modern Native Americans. This information combined with current information about diabetes among Native Americans could help establish if a genetic predisposition for diabetes exists, if the high incidence rate is a result of their modern diet, or a combination of the two factors. Once the source of the problem has been isolated diabetes prevention can target the source and effectively work towards lowering the percent of Native Americans with diabetes from the current 17%. Targeted prevention, which will develop from a better understanding of why Native Americans are likely to develop diabetes, has the potential to improve the quality of life of these groups. If diabetes was once beneficial, this research could identify protective factors in the pre-modern diet and propose methods of modifying current diets.

Keywords: Native American, pre-modern diet, diabetes, diabetes prevention, thrifty genotype

Topic(s):Anthropology
Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 55-4
Location: MG 1000
Time: 3:30

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