Intended for healthcare professionals


Determining precise role of ethnicity in disease will be difficult

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 15 November 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1309
  1. A R P Walker, Heada,
  2. I Segal, Headb
  1. a Human Biochemistry Research Unit, South African Institute for Medical Research, Johannesburg, South Africa
  2. b Gastroenterology Unit, Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg

    Editor—Bhopal's article debates whether research into ethnicity and health is racist, unsound, or important science.1 This is particularly challenging to us, working in South Africa, which has several interethnic populations.

    Apart from in the classical deficiency diseases, much of the causation of most chronic diseases of lifestyle remains unexplained and hence presumably lies in the “black box” that the authors mention. For example, despite huge sums being spent on research on coronary heart …

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