Hidden causes of heart disease among Maori and Polynesians
Although many of us do the right thing by getting yearly checkups and complete blood counts, there could be an underlying heart problem that we don’t know we have. It does not mean that because we appear to be fit and in motion, our hearts are necessarily working properly. Having an ECG also does not always give us the guarantee that our heart is healthy. I experienced a medium to severe heart attack two days after my last EKG. This had prompted me to investigate why this had happened, as I did not show any of the typical signs such as: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or being overweight. However, what I did have was stress overload and another interesting factor that I thought would not affect me was the fact that the cardiologists had confirmed that my heart attack had been caused by stress and the other interesting factor was that I had inherited a gene from my father’s family that I thought wouldn’t have affected me the way it did.
My father had never shown any symptoms of heart disease, yet they were there sleeping and easily missed. He was a heavy smoker and drinker and passed away at the age of 75 due to lung cancer. He was also of Maori / Polynesian descent and interestingly enough, this plays a role in an individual’s overall health if he is of Polynesian descent. Since my mother was Caucasian, I thought I had gotten away with any heart problems related to my hereditary gene pool from my father. The most common forms of disease that we often see in the Pacific Maori and Polynesian populations are …
- Respiratory problems
- Heart disease
Maori and Pacific people are considered to have one of the highest rates of heart disease in the industrialized world, along with some third world countries, especially “rheumatic fever”, which is most prevalent in those under twenty years of age. This can lead to heart disease in old age. It has also been observed that a hundred years ago, the Maori race was expected to disappear and be replaced by the white man. Rheumatic fever was intended to kill the Maori population that had originally been introduced by the white man.
In New Zealand, after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, there was a notable decline in the Maori population that continued to decline. Europeans had already spent countless years building resistance to such diseases through their lifestyle and even more so with the foods they were used to consuming, such as processed foods such as cream, butter, milk, bread, cakes and of course , that’s how we ended up. with the delicious icon, “Devonshire Tea”, which was something the natives had never been used to eating. Their diet consisted mainly of fish and other shellfish along with watercress and other natural, unprocessed foods. This is where the gene for low resistance to heart disease emerged among indigenous peoples, along with diabetes and respiratory problems, there had been sudden changes in the consumption of their natural food.
Although it appears that many Caucasian people suffer from different types of coronary heart disease, Maori and Pacific Islander people are at higher risk due to the dietary changes they made when the white man settled in. Indians and Southeast Asia are also known to carry this type of gene. They come to the western world and they consume western foods that are processed, which makes them much higher in toxins, sugar, and fat. The surest way to find out about your heart health is to talk to your doctor about having an “angiogram.” Here a camera tube is inserted into a main artery in the upper leg.
The tube runs through the entire artery to the heart itself, where the full condition of the heart can be assessed and viewed on a monitor. You can see the entire procedure being carried out. This is how they found my blocked artery, an ECG won’t detect that. The procedure is painless, and when the tube is removed, a clamp is placed on the upper leg for about twenty minutes or a little longer to ensure that the bleeding has stopped. The only painful thing about doing this is the cost. I think it’s a great way to ensure peace of mind and the cost is something I think everyone should consider regardless of their hereditary background.