Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This research project examines the high rate of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) among the Mohawk Indians of Kshnawake, Quebec in relation to current knowledge about diabetes among Amerindians and in the context of the association of NIDDM with a centripetal patterning of subcutaneous fat. The hypothesis tested is that NIDDM is positively correlated with a centripetal distribution of body fat in the adult Mohawk Indians of Kahnawake. In this cross-sectional case-control matched study, Mohawk Indians from the Kahnawake reServe near Montreal, Quebec were matched for age, sex and diabetic status. The results of skinfold ratios, waist to hip circumference ratios, snd principal components analysis indicate that while nearly all of the participants fall above the current standards of obesity, there is no distinct trunkal distribution of subcutaneous body fat in those with NIDDM. Thus, contrary to the stated hypothesis diabetic Mohawk Indians do not show a propensity to trunkal obesity. Several possible explanations for these findings are suggested. Other findings of this study are: 1) a significantly lesser amount of fat on the lower extremities of the diabetic men, and to a lesser degree, of the diabetic women than their respective controls; 2) s strong intra-generational effect present in the sub-population of diabetics; 3) no difference in degree of non-Native ancestry can be discerned between those with or without NIDDM; 4) the pattern of obesity and disease occurrence (NIDDM and cholelithiasis) does not follow that of the New World Synd~me as is it currently defined; and, 5) high rates of macro-vascular disease were found in those with diabetes. Suggested future research involves longitudinal studies from time of diagnosis or earlier in order to discern the relative contribution of environmental factors in the occurrence of NIDDM as well aa continued study of the relationship between NIDDM and body fat in this population.
Adelson, Naomi, "Mohawk Diabetes And Fat Patterning" (1987). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7015.
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