Narrowed, aging blood vessels, which put most older American adults at risk for heart disease and strokes, are not inevitable. This fact was underscored by a newly published study of a population in the Bolivian Amazon.
Among these indigenous South Americans, known as the Tsimane (pronounced chee-MAH-nay), coronary atherosclerosis was found to be one-fifth as common than in the United States. CT scans of the hearts of 705 Tsimane adults aged 40 to 94 revealed that nearly nine in 10 had clean coronary arteries and faced no risk of heart disease. The research team estimated that an 80-year-old in the Tsimane group has the same vascular age as an American in his mid-50s.