June 20 2019
James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)
A new multicenter analysis led by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and other institutions found the inclusion of diverse, multiethnic populations in large-scale genomic studies is critical for reducing health disparities and accurately representing genetics-related disease risks in all populations. The results appear in the June 19 issue of the journal Nature.
Genetic association studies look for genes or regions of the genome that contribute to a disease, but most genome-wide association studies to date have centered on populations of European ancestry. Because genetic architecture differs across racially and ethnically diverse populations, drawing universal conclusions from a limited sample can be misleading and even dangerous, exacerbating health care disparities.
Previous articles have alluded to the need for multiethnic diversity in genome-wide studies, but our study is among the first to clearly delineate the scope of the problem, using detailed analyses of minority genetic samples.”
Dr. Christopher Carlson, associate member of the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutch and one of the study’s two corresponding authors