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Physiological (cardiorespiratory) variation is examined among eight village populations on the island of Korcula, which is small and can be regarded as ecologically quite homogeneous. Lung function measurements (FVC, FEV1, PEF, MEF 25%, MEF 50%, MEF 75%) and arterial blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) were analysed from 418 male and 509 female adult subjects. The primary determinant of physiological variation of the current island population is its west-east division, for the extent of physio­logical variation within the two regions is small in comparison with west- east regional differences. This division corresponds with recorded history of the settlement and movement of the population onto and across the island.While the villages in the east are inhabited mainly by descendants from the first Slavic migration movements onto the island during the sixth to eighth centuries, the people living in the eastern part stem primarily from later migration waves (sixteenth to eighteenth centuries) who gradually mixed with the prior settlers. Reflecting this migration history, linguistic dif­ferences are still found today at the regional level. In view of the congruence between physiological variation and migration history and current linguistic features a reasonable hypothesis for the physiological variation is that it reflects the genetic differences that persist today among populations living in the same basic environment.