There is much controversy about race and medicine. Some people and medical scientists feel there are inherent differences in races that cause medical concerns and need to be addressed. Others feel there are no differences. We at Project RACE call for more study into this highly emotional issue. We have recently seen several calls for more study, as outlined below and are pleased to know that progress is being made.
We recently received a notification of a diabetes study. To qualify, it specified you must have Japanese Heritage (being born in Japan or having at least 1 parent or 1 grandparent born in Japan).
I also received a request from 23 and Me because they did my DNA testing and I have a percentage of African descent. They stated that less than 3%* of participants in research studies on genetics of disease are of African descent. More representation from people of African ancestry could lead to advancements in conditions like lupus, type 2 diabetes, and more for this population. They asked me to “Support advancements in genetic discoveries for individuals with African ancestry by completing an online survey.”
Also in the news is that a team of Mayo Clinic researchers found Hispanic-American patients with Alzheimer’s tend to survive significantly longer than other ethno-racial groups. The principal investigator of the study said, “As the field works towards Alzheimer’s therapies, ethno-racial differences should be taken into consideration.”
I recently read an excellent article about race-based medicine by Evelyn Elias that dives deep into population-level genetic differences and their implications for medicine. You can read the entire article here: https://universityobserver.ie/individualised-medicine-its-all-in-the-genes/
Susan Graham for Project RACE
Photo Credit: Triple Helix Online