Race, gender differences

An example:
Lupus is two to three times more prevalent among people of color,
including African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans.”

Can you believe that there are people who assert that
“There is no such thing as race”,
“Race is only skin deep”, and
“Race is a cultural construct”?

What a bunch of disgusting liars and/or clowns!
Too bad many of them are actually teaching in universities (e.g.),
misleading generations of undergraduates.

Beware the lying PC (of multiple races and ethnicities).


The Color of Love Can Be Confusing

By Eisa Nefertari Ulen

Biologically speaking, there is no such thing as race.
Race does not exist.
Except, of course, that it does.
Politically, socially, economically, race is very real,
and the legacy of racism informs every aspect of American life,
sometimes unexpectedly, often intimately.


Racial Component Is Found in Lethal Breast Cancer
New York Times, 2006-06-07

Young black women with breast cancer are more prone than whites or older blacks to develop a type of tumor with genetic traits that make it especially deadly and hard to treat, a study has found.

Among premenopausal black women with breast cancer, 39 percent had the more dangerous kind, called a “basal like” subtype, compared with only 14 percent of older black women and 16 percent of nonblack women of any age. Researchers are not sure why.

The study, being published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association, is the first to measure how common the different genetic subtypes of breast tumors are in American women, and to sort the subtypes by race. The authors said more research was needed to test their conclusions.

The finding has no immediate effect on treatment, because there is no treatment that specifically concentrates on basal-like cancer. But scientists are trying to create drugs that will zero in on it.

The study helps explain something that was already known: although breast cancer is less common in blacks than whites, when black women do develop the disease, they are more likely to die from it, especially if they are under 50. Among those younger women, the breast cancer death rate in blacks is 11 per 100,000, compared with only 6.3 in whites.

The new data about tumor types is not the whole story, researchers say, because some of the disparity may also result from a lack of access to health care among blacks or differences in nutrition, personal habits or environmental exposures.



Heart Failure Strikes Blacks More Often and at Younger Ages, Study Finds
New York Times, 2009-03-19

Black adults developed heart failure at a rate 20 times higher than did whites, even dying of it decades before the condition typically strikes whites, in a large multicenter study of the causes of heart disease, researchers reported.

Heart failure typically occurs in the elderly and is rare in young adults. Researchers did not expect to see much of it among the 5,115 young blacks and whites, evenly split along racial and sex lines, that they had been following to learn about causes of heart disease. But after 20 years, 27 participants in the study had developed heart failure, all but one of them black.

Most of the heart failure patients were in their 30s and 40s. Three black men and two black women with heart failure died during the study period.

The researchers estimated that heart failure strikes one in 100 blacks under age 50 in the United States.


Racial Disparities in Illness Highlighted
Study Finds Alarmingly High Rates Among Black Women
By Darryl Fears
Washington Post, 2009-06-10

[This article appeared in the Metro section, page B-4, of the Post.
Immediately below it was a photo accompaning another article.
Although that article had nothing to do with the subject of this article,
nonetheless the photo captures, perhaps better than words,
just how severe the problem is in some cases.]

Black women in the District suffer from
obesity, diabetes, heart disease and generally poor health
in alarmingly high numbers,
and white women do not.

That is the finding of a study released early today
by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The study said
there is a large disparity in the incidence of certain chronic diseases
between black and white women.

Kaiser’s study was based on data compiled by
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
and the federal Current Population Survey
from 2004 to 2006.
The study reflected health statistics in the states and the District.

In the District, the study also found wide gaps between black and white women
in the incidence of other illnesses such as cancer and HIV and AIDS.
According to the study,
black women’s poor health is tied to
low education, poverty, unemployment, stress, bad living conditions
and poor health care coverage.

Black women’s health in the District also compared unfavorably
with that of other minority women.
According to the study,
36 percent of black women were overweight or obese, compared with
about 10 percent of Hispanic and Asian women in the city.
More than 7 percent of black women suffered from diabetes,
compared with 2 percent of Hispanic women and 3 percent of Asian women.
Fewer than 1 percent of white women suffered from diabetes,
and 7 percent were overweight or obese.

“Black women in the District are really struggling,”
said Cara James,
a senior policy analyst at Kaiser and the study’s lead author.
“This is a chronic condition that we know is related to poverty
and the availability of nutritious food and the opportunity to exercise.”

Personal responsibility among black women is an issue,
but so is the government’s responsibility to
“make sure that people understand the importance of exercising and doing exercise
and also to make sure that neighborhoods are safe to walk,”
James said.

A quarter of black women in the District live below the poverty line,
defined as an income of $19,000 a year for a family of four
at the time of the study.
About 14 percent of black women in the city had no high school diploma,
one of the lowest percentages in the Washington area.

James acknowledged that
comparing black women’s health with white women’s health in the District
is somewhat unfair,
as the city’s white women
tend to be among the healthiest and wealthiest in the nation --
“the valedictorians of the class” when it comes to health, James said.

In Maryland and Virginia, disparities between black women and white women were narrower.
In Maryland,
37 percent of black women were overweight or obese,
compared with 21 percent of white women, according to the study.
In Virginia, the rate was 36 percent for black women
and 17 percent for white women.

The disparity between black and white women for diabetes
was also narrower in the neighboring states than in the District,
as was the cancer mortality rate.
In the District, the cancer mortality rate was 204 per 100,000 black women
and 137 per 100,000 white women.
In Maryland, the cancer mortality rate was 191 per 100,000 black women
and 166 per 100,000 white women.
In Virginia, the cancer mortality disparity was slightly greater than in Maryland.

In the District,
the incidence of new HIV/AIDS infections for black women -- 176 per 100,000 --
was far larger than for any other group of women.
The rate for Hispanic women was 48 per 100,000, according to the study.

A D.C. government study this year said
the city’s overall AIDS prevalence rate was 3 percent, the highest in the nation.
In Virginia, the rate is 31 per 100,000,
and in Maryland, the rate is 68 per 100,000.

The District’s health director, Pierre Vigilance,
said the city is working to address the disparities.

“We understand that health disparities cut across different lines --
race, socioeconomic status --
and it’s unfortunate that we’re in a district
where the burden of those problems are borne out more,” Vigilance said.
“We’ve been doing more to look at how to address access to more health care for women, and especially mothers.”

James said the District should be credited with those efforts.
“D.C. has done a good job with lowering disparities in health coverage,”
she said.
“But it’s not sufficient to eliminate disparities.”

Blacks With Equal Care Still More Likely to Die of Some Cancers
By Rob Stein
Washington Post, 2009-07-08

African Americans are less likely than whites to survive breast, prostate and ovarian cancer even when they receive equal treatment, according to a large study that offers provocative evidence that biological factors play a role in at least some racial disparities.

The first-of-its-kind study, involving nearly 20,000 cancer patients nationwide, found that the gap in survival between blacks and whites disappeared for lung, colon and several other cancers when they received identical care as part of federally funded clinical trials. But disparities persisted for prostate, breast and ovarian cancer, suggesting that other factors must be playing a role in the tendency of blacks to fare more poorly.

For decades, studies have shown that poor people and minorities are more likely to live shorter, sicker lives, and are less likely to survive a host of illnesses, including many cancers. Studies have indicated that the disparities were largely the result of poor people and minorities getting inferior care; they are less likely to have health insurance and receive routine preventive care, they frequently get diagnosed later, and they often undergo less aggressive treatment once they are diagnosed.

The new study is another chance to weigh biology against disparities in the quality of care.

“There is good news and puzzling news in our results,” said Kathy S. Albain of Loyola University, whose findings were published online today by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

“When there’s a level playing field with the same quality of care, African Americans survive just as well as other races from some of our most common cancers, which is reassuring news and points us nationally toward a need to make sure there is quality of care and equal access to all,” Albain said. “But for prostate, ovarian and breast [cancer], it’s not access to care. There’s something else. And we need to sort that out.”

Other researchers said the findings were groundbreaking.

“I believe this is a landmark analysis,” said Lisa A. Newman of the University of Michigan. “There seems to be something associated with racial and ethnic identity that seems to confer a worse survival rate for African Americans. I think it’s likely to be hereditary and genetic factors.”

A growing body of evidence has suggested that biological factors may be playing a role in health disparities. Genetic variations, for example, appear to make some therapies more effective or less toxic for some people than others. That idea, however, has been controversial and has raised concern that it could distract from the major cause of disparities, such as poverty, prejudice and geographic variation in quality of care.

Some experts cautioned that the study could not rule out the effects of socioeconomic and environmental factors earlier in life, and expressed worry that the findings could reinforce old prejudices.

“When I hear scientists talking about racial differences, I worry that it starts to harken back to arguments about genetic inferiority,” said Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society and an African American.

In the new study, Albain and her colleagues used data collected from about 19,457 patients between 1974 and 2001 by the Southwest Oncology Group, a National Cancer Institute-funded national cooperative of clinical trials. Because all patients in the studies received the same treatment, if poverty and other socioeconomic factors were to blame, then differences in survival should remain constant across all cancers, the researchers reasoned.

A detailed analysis of the data found no statistically significant association between race and survival for lung and colon cancer -- two of the most common forms of cancer -- or for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

But African Americans were still 49 percent more likely than whites to die from early-stage postmenopausal breast cancer, 41 percent more likely to die from early-stage premenopausal breast cancer, 61 percent more likely to die from advanced ovarian cancer and 21 percent more likely to die from advanced prostate cancer.

Because all the cancers for which the disparity persisted were related to gender, the findings suggest that the survival gap may be the result of a complex interaction of differences in the biology of the tumors and inherited variations in genes that control metabolism of drugs and hormones, Albain said.

Some of the difference in breast cancer survival could be explained by the fact that black women are more likely to get a more aggressive form of the disease that is more difficult to treat. But part of Albain’s study and another analysis by researchers at the National Cancer Institute involving more than 244,000 cancer patients nationwide found that could not explain all the difference.

“This is almost certainly related to a mix of factors across races pertaining to tumor biology and inherited factors,” Albain said.

Albain disputed suggestions the study could be used to support racial prejudices.

“We certainly aren’t talking about ‘genetic inferiority’ or stereotypes in our study (or implying it) and it would be a shame to have these results misinterpreted by someone in this way,” Albain wrote in e-mail. “What we are saying is that there is something that ‘tracks’ with African ancestry only in these three diseases. . . . Once we discover the explanation for our findings, tailored treatments will benefit all races.”

But Brawley, who speaks widely on issues of racial disparity, and others argued that access to high-quality care remains the dominant problem. Socioeconomic factors that occur earlier in life may explain the findings, Brawley said. For example, poor people and minorities are more likely to grow up in polluted neighborhoods and have been hit hardest by the obesity epidemic, which could lead to more difficult-to-treat cancers, he said.

“These differences are not due to inherent genetics. They are due to the effects of environmental factors like diet and exercise and obesity on biology,” Brawley said.

Genes Tied to Gap in Treatment of Hepatitis C
New York Times, 2009-08-17

The standard treatment for infection with the hepatitis C virus is a grueling 48-week course of the antiviral drugs interferon and ribavirin that gives some patients flulike symptoms and severe depression. The treatment varies in its effectiveness, being much more successful in Americans of European descent than in African-Americans.

A Duke University team has now uncovered the principal reason for the disparity between the races. It lies not in differing compliance to the treatment or access to health care, as some have assumed, but in genetics.

Using a genetic test called a genome-wide association study, the Duke team, led by David B. Goldstein and John McHutchison, found that the coding at a single site on the DNA, out of the three billion sites in the human genome, made all the difference in people’s response to the treatment.

The site is close to the gene for a special kind of interferon, known as interferon-lambda-3, and may help control the gene’s activity. Some people have the DNA unit T at this site, and others have C. Since a person inherits two copies of the genome, one from each parent, individuals may have T’s on both copies, C’s on both, or one T and one C.

People with the CC version, or allele, respond much better to the standard hepatitis treatment than do those with the TT allele. The C versions are more common in Europeans than in Africans, and this explains half of the difference in the response between the two races, the Duke team said in a report released Sunday on the Web site of the journal Nature.

The C versions are even more common among East Asians, about 75 percent of whom respond well to the standard treatment, compared with 55 percent of European-Americans and 25 percent of African-Americans.

People with the CC versions may produce more interferons, which are virus-fighting substances produced by cells, than those with TT, though the exact mechanism has yet to be worked out.


Ancient DNA shows interbreeding between Homo sapiens and Neanderthal
by David Brown
Washington Post, 2010-05-07

First Signs of Puberty Seen in Younger Girls
New York Times, 2010-08-09


Dozens of studies have been published in the years since.
Arguments continue, but
many doctors accept the idea that heavier girls often develop earlier.
And subsequent studies have also found that
black and Hispanic girls mature earlier than whites,
even when weight is taken into account.
No one knows why.

[This is entirely consistent with the findings of J. Phillipe Rushton,
that blacks develop earlier and more rapidly than whites.
Note, for example,
Chapter 2, “Maturation, Crime, and Parenting” and
Chapter 3, “Sex, Hormones, and AIDS”
of Rushton’s Race, Evolution, and Behavior (50-page PDF file).

It should be noted that many blacks, e.g. the group “By Any Means Necessary”,
have made significant efforts to suppress Dr. Rushton’s findings,
to discredit Dr. Rushton, and
to discourage him from continuing a line of research
whose findings they do not like.
So much for seeking the truth, when it conflicts with political correctness
and the agendas of the groups which political correctness advances!]

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