Biology

Johns Hopkins professor questions conventional wisdom on blood pressure after research among Amazonian tribes

Johns Hopkins professor questions conventional wisdom on blood pressure after research among Amazonian tribes

Bananas are so crucial to the diet of the Yekwana people of Venezuela that they honor esteemed guests like Noel Mueller by inviting them to stay in the hut where the fruits are stored.

That diet — and the health of the Yekwana and a neighboring tribe, the Yanomami — may also be factors in explaining why blood pressure rises with age among Americans and other peoples of developed nations, according to research done by the Baltimore epidemiologist.

Mueller, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, visited the tribes in their remote homeland in the Amazonian rain forest two years ago in order to test a long-held dogma of cardiology: that...

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