Genetic Risk Factors for IBD Identified in African-American Population

Genetic Risk Factors for IBD Identified in African-American Population
In a new study entitled "Characterization of Genetic Loci That Affect Susceptibility to Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in African Americans," researchers investigated the genetic causes for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in African-Americans in a comprehensive study. The study was published in the journal Gastroenterology. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is particularly prevalent among the African American population, a condition referred to as familial aggregation (the occurrence of more cases of a given disorder in close relatives of a person with the disorder, when compared to control families). However, the genetic causes underlying the predisposition are poorly defined. In this new research, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with colleagues at Emory University and Cedars-Sinai investigated the genetic risk factors for IBD in African Americans by performing the first in-depth analysis of this population's genetic map. To this end, they recruited African American subjects with and without IBD from a wide network of IBD centers throughout the United States (specifically, 34 centers). The number of subjects evaluated in the study was above 1,500 African-American patients with IBD (1,088 with Crohn's disease and 361 with ulcerative colitis) and included 1,797 African-Americans without IBD, as controls. The study investigated first whether the 163 separate genetic variations determined as IBD risk factors in white Americans were also present in African Americans. Additionally, the team aimed at identifying new loci (regions within the genome) as IBD risk factors, specifically in the African American population, as Steven Brant, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Meyerhoff Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center and corresponding author of
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