NPR

Human Genomics Research Has A Diversity Problem

Studies on the genetics of human diseases have focused largely on people of European descent. Researchers say this lack of diversity is bad science and exacerbates health inequities.
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Precision medicine promises to tailor the diagnosis and treatment of disease to your unique genetic makeup. A doctor may use the presence of certain genetic markers to diagnose a disease, or choose one drug for treatment over another.

But the studies that link genetic markers with disease focus largely on white European populations and neglect other races and ethnicities, according to an analysis published in the journal Cell on Thursday. The researchers argue this lack of diversity in genomic studies harms our scientific understanding of the genetic underpinnings of disease in all populations and exacerbates health care inequities.

The analysis reports that 78 percent of all individuals included in genomic studies of disease up to 2018 were of European descent, 10 percent Asian,

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