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Ancestral link places Mexican-Americans at greater risk for metabolic disease
Date:8/24/2012

HOUSTON - (Aug. 23, 2012) Mexican-Americans with an ancestral link to Amerindian tribes were found to have higher insulin resistance levels, which is an indication of several chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, according to research by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

"Now that we have identified the ancestral link, we have an opportunity to develop some new approaches to personalized medicine using genetic markers," said HuiQi Qu, Ph.D., the study's lead author and assistant professor at The University of Texas School of Public Health Brownsville Regional Campus, part of UTHealth. Study results are published in the August issue of Diabetes Care, a journal of the American Diabetes Association.

The findings are part of a series of recent articles published in five journals by UTHealth researchers and colleagues that examine the testing, diagnosing and treating of chronic diseases in the Mexican- American population using data and blood samples from the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort (CCHC).

"It is our hope that these findings will help healthcare providers and communities more efficiently identify high-risk persons as well as develop and provide intensified clinical and public health interventions," said Joseph McCormick, M.D., who established the CCHC and is the regional dean of the UT School of Public Health Brownsville Regional Campus. "It is important that we measure the burden of chronic disease, the risk factors, including behavioral, environmental, genetic and ancestry risk factors, so that we can take this information to our communities and work to address these issues."

According to McCormick, the series of findings increases the importance of ethnicity information in identifying people at high risk of disease. McCormick is a co-author of the series of articles.

In 2003, UTHealth researchers established the CCHC with funding from the National Center on Mi
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Contact: Jade Waddy
jade.waddy@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3307
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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