Study finds that risk of asthma and nasal allergy varies by genetic ancestry in Hispanic children

In a new study led by Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) researchers hypothesized that genetic ancestry is an important determinant of early-life asthma and rhinitis occurrence in Hispanic children independent of sociodemographic, acculturation and environmental factors. They conducted the study among nearly 1800 Hispanic children between the ages of 5 and 7 years who participated in the Southern California Children’s Health Study in 2003. To determine the ethnic background of each child more precisely, the researchers estimated contributions from Amerindian (ancestral background in Latin American people before 15th century), European, African and Asian ancestry using over 200 DNA sequence variations. They concluded: “Earlier work documented that Hispanic children with significant contribution from African ancestry are at increased asthma risk; however, in Hispanic children who have little contribution from African ancestry, Amerindian ancestry was independently associated with lower odds for development of early-childhood asthma and rhinitis.” To see the full article, click here.