A hypothesis on the development of acute myocardial infarction in Greenlanders.


Dyerberg J, Bang HO.




Scand J Clin Lab Invest Suppl


Non-emigrated Greenlanders have a low incidence of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), when compared with age- and sex adjusted death rates for ischemic heart disease in western countries. We find that Greenlanders have plasma lipid levels corresponding to favourable risk factor levels for AMI. This can be attributed to their diet, rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fat. This diet further supplies eicosapentaenoic acid which influence platelet vessel wall function in an antithrombotic direction. A high level of plasma-antithrombin-III, raising the anticoagulant activity of the blood, in combination with a genetically high activation threshold for the complement system may further contribute to the resistancy against thrombo-embolic disorders. Bleeding tendency, and susceptibility to infection disorders may be the possible draw-backs. Our data are framed into a hypothesis combining the indications of genetic predispositions and the evidence of exogenous protective factors, inflicting a coherent enhancement of nonsusceptibility to vascular ischemic catastrophies.