IV-9. “Lifestyle Changes and Atherosclerosis among Indigenous People of New Guinea’s Highlands” (H28 FY2016)

  • Project Leader:Fujisawa Michiko (Kyoto University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies)
  • Collaborators:Matsubayashi Kozo (Kyoto University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Emeritus Professor)
  •                              Garcia del Saz Eva (Kochi University, Center for International Collaboration)
  •                              Ishida Akio (University of Ryukyus, Graduate School of Medicine)
  •                              Ida Bagus Manuaba Indrajaya (Wamena General Hospital)

Outline of Research

We will research how recent changes (immigration and modernization) in Papua, Indonesia are affecting the lifestyle and health status of New Guinea highlanders.


Arteriosclerosis progresses with age, causing health problems that can lead to functional disability such as ischemic heart disease and stroke. Although this is a serious concern in Asia where rapid aging has become a widespread social issue, the genesis of arteriosclerosis remains unclear.

In most societies, blood pressure rises with age, triggering a progression of arteriosclerosis. Among the population living in the New Guinea highlands, however, blood pressure does not increase with age (Hypertension Research 2012) while the stiffness of the arteries does increase.

We will investigate recent lifestyle changes in this community caused primarily by immigration and impacts on health, targeting arteriosclerosis in particular. To understand the pathogenesis of arteriosclerosis will be useful in preventing functional disability of aged people. In addition, since the research is a collaboration with a local hospital, it has the potential to contribute to enhance the health of the community there.


Doing field work with family members together

The children play and make a small house