Dressler, W.W., J.R. Bindon, and M.J. Gilliland. (1996) Sociocultural and Behavioral Influences on Health Status among the Mississippi Choctaw. Medical Anthropology, 17:165-180.

ABSTRACT: Native American populations in North America are at increased risk of a variety of health problems, including (but not limited to) diabetes. This risk is presumed to be a result of the interaction of environmental influences with a population genetic susceptibility. Anthropologists have subsumed those environmental influences under the term "acculturation." Here, we break that broad concept into physical, behavioral, and sociocultural components in an examination of the correlates of arterial blood pressure and plasma glucose among the Mississippi Choctaw.

In a sample of 93 adults, higher plasma glucose was associated with lower physical activity, higher body mass index, and higher lifestyle incongruity, after controlling for age, sex, and recency of food consumption. Higher arterial blood pressure was associated with higher body mass index and being single. These results suggest that the risk of disordered glucose metabolism within this Native American population is associated with acculturation broadly construed, but that refined models of health and disease must take into account the multiple dimensions of this concept. Physical, behavioral, and sociocultural factors combine to describe more precisely the concept of acculturation, and hence the factors contributing to the risk of disease in Native American communities.