A Book on Health Disparities- Health Outcomes in a Foreign Land
Gene-environment interactions and health disparities
Minority and Diaspora Health
The aftermath of lead poisoning in Flint (MI; USA) and the Grenfell Tower fire (London, UK) that disproportionally affected minority individuals, underscore the need to address the factors which causes adverse health in minority populations particularly those in the diaspora. #Health Outcomes in a Foreign land (Springer, July 2017) discusses the genetic, non-genetic and epigenetic factors that contributes to health disparities in minorities.
This book will challenge and inspire physicians and medical students, nurses, epidemiologist, public health professionals, biomedical research scientists, lawyers, economists and interested general readers.
Different kinds of the same
Completion of the human genome sequence means that we know the arrangements of DNA bases and the genes which perform biological functions- but what is this telling us:
- All human beings of different racial and ethnic identify (African, Asian, Indian, Caucasian) share 99.5% sequence identity.
- The 0.5% sequence variation in different populations contributes to differences in skin color, hair and eye color, height, built, response to environmental exposures, differences in prevalence of disease susceptibility or resistance or even differences in drug metabolism
- The sequence variations and environmental factors contributes to adaptive traits differences such than Africans have adopted dark skin pigmentation in high UV environments against UV radiation damage while at the same time making sufficient vitamin D (an essential nutrient). On the other hand, light skin pigmentation is adaptation in low UV environment yet is able to make sufficient Vitamin D. Therefore, a dark skinned African who migrates to low UV environments are not able to make sufficient Vitamin D especially doing winter months and thus must consume diets rich in Vitamin D (or use vitamin D supplements) to avoid susceptibility to certain diseases including cancer. Similarly light skin pigmented individuals who migrate to high UV environments must protect themselves against too much UV radiation or risk getting skin cancer.
- Information from the human genome categorically dispels any notion of racial hierarchy where one race is intellectually more superior to another race.