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Extreme Longevity in Dominica, West Indies: A Population Study. Noel T. Boaz, Ph.D. , M.D. Gerald A.C. Grell, M.D., FRCP, FACP Robert Nasiiro, M.D., M.P.H Paul Ricketts, MB.BS., M.Sc. Was “Ma Pampo” Really 128 Years Old? .
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Noel T. Boaz, Ph.D., M.D.
Gerald A.C. Grell, M.D., FRCP, FACP
Robert Nasiiro, M.D., M.P.H
Paul Ricketts, MB.BS., M.Sc.
Geography: 290 mi2 island in the Lesser Antilles of eastern
Caribbean; mountainous terrain, largely forested, with numerous
Population: 72,727 (May, 2001 census); Largest Caribbean enclave
of Carib Amerindians; Large population of African descent; Small
European population; Admixture among all
Life Expectancy: Male - 75 years; Female - 78 to 81 years
Languages: French creole (“patois”), English, pidgin English
(“kokoi”), Carib/Arawak (extinct)
Centenarians are evenly distributed geographically
Pointe Daniel, Southeastern Atlantic coast
South fork, Layou River, central Dominica, north of Morne Trois Pitons
Carib Reserve, northeastern Dominica, looking west towards Morne Diablotins (el. 1747 ft.)
Van at Vielle Case Health Centre
Chair scale for individuals unable to stand unassisted
U.K. passport accepted as documenting a birth date as April 2, 1898
Blood samples are frozen and curated for genetic analysis
Postmortem examination yields organ tissue samples for analysis and to determine cause of death
Database will relate lens thickness to ageMethods: Lens Pachymetry
Centenarian Mrs. FJ with Dr. G.A.C. Grell
Katz Rankings from
A – independent, to
G – totally dependent
Loss of dentition, difficulty in preparing traditional, non-Western foods, or inability/unwillingness/lack of knowledge of caretakers in preparing traditional food may place centenarians at nutritional risk
Man, age unknown, carrying 75-pound load of wood in Carib Reserve, Dominica, 12/2001
US-Glennan = Glennan Center, EVMS geriatric patients > 85 years of age (N=36); Anonymous data courtesy of Rosanne Newman, M.D.
Dom Elder = Marigot Health District, Dominica; individuals > 65 yo (N=132) (Veen-de Vries, N.R., et al. 1999 Health Status of the elderly in the Marigot District. In: Luteijn, A.J. (ed.) Primary Health Care in Dominica: Studies in the Marigot Health District, pp. 113-125, Groningen: Regenboog.)
Barb Elder = Diagnoses of patients at Geriatric Hospital, Barbados from Fraser. (Grell, G.A.C. 1987 The Elderly in the Caribbean, p. 8. Kingston, Jamaica: University Printery.)
1Corruccini, R.S., and S.S. Kaul 1983 The epidemiological transition and anthropology of minor chronic non-infectious diseases. Med. Anthropol. 7:36-50.