In a survey of individuals from eight indigenous communities, a team of Latin American investigators found the prevalence of musculoskeletal and rheumatic diseases was 34.5%, according to research published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.  “That’s a higher prevalence than anywhere in the world, and it’s higher in a younger population,” according to Dr. Callahan, who was not involved in the study.  She also indicated the higher prevalence is likely a result of indigenous individuals having lower levels of socioeconomic status — which is known to correlate with disease prevalence, morbidity, and mortality. The mean age of study participants was 42 years.

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