In 1969 a group of hunter-gatherer San were studied (Am J Clin Nutr 1971;24:229-42). Their state of hematological nutrition was excellent with a negligible incidence of iron, folate, or vitamin B12 deficiency. A genetically and linguistically similar San community who have been settled for the past 15 yr were the subjects of the present study. Anemia, due in the main to iron and/or folate deficiency, has become more common. Alcoholism has become rife in both sexes and all age groups. Our findings show that a settled lifestyle has resulted in a significant deterioration in the San's hematological nutrition.