Hypertension and indicators of coronary heart disease in Wallis Polynesians: An urban-rural comparison

R. Taylor, P. Bennett, R. Uili, M. Joffres, R. Germain, S. Levy, Paul Zimmet

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A comparative study of hypertension, and indicators of and risk factors for coronary heart disease was undertaken in samples of rural Wallisians of Wallis Island, and first generation Wallisian migrants in the urban centre of Noumea, New Caledonia. Approximately 20% of the adult population of the two communities was included in the study. Higher mean blood pressure and hypertension prevalence in Wallisians in Noumea compared to those in Wallis was documented. There was no significant rise in blood pressure with age in rural Wallisian males. Wallisians in Noumea tended to be more obese than those in Wallis (particularly females). Although differences in the extent of obesity appeared to explain some of the differences in blood pressure between populations of Wallis and Noumea, other environmental factors (such as salt intake) are probably important. There was a trend for a higher prevalence of O wave changes on the ECG in urbanized Wallisians compared to their rural counterparts. There was no significant or consistent differences in plasma lipid concentrations between the two groups. The prevalence of diabetes was 7 and 4 times higher in Noumea compared to Wallis for males and females respectively. Differences in diabetes and hypertension prevalence are more likely to account for the variation in ischaemic heart disease than plasma lipid levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-256
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Sep 1987


  • Coronary heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • New Caledonia
  • Obesity
  • Polynesians
  • Urban-rural comparison
  • Wallis Island

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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