Article

Inclusion of African Americans in Genetic Studies: What Is the Barrier?

Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.
American journal of epidemiology (Impact Factor: 4.98). 06/2011; 174(3):336-44. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwr084
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To facilitate an increase in the amount of data on minority subjects collected for genetic databases, the authors attempted to clarify barriers to African-American participation in genetic studies. They randomly sampled 78,072 subjects from the community (Missouri Family Registry, 2002-2007). Of these, 28,658 participated in a telephone screening interview, 3,179 were eligible to participate in the genetic study, and 1,919 participated in the genetic study. Response rates were examined in relation to the proportion of subjects in the area who were African-American according to US Census 2000 zip code demographic data. Compared with zip codes with fewer than 5% African Americans (average = 2% African-American), zip codes with at least 60% African Americans (average = 87% African-American) had higher proportions of subjects with an incorrect address or telephone number but lower proportions of subjects who did not answer the telephone and subjects who refused the telephone interview (P < 0.0001). Based on reported race from the telephone screening, 71% of eligible African Americans and 57% of eligible European Americans participated in the genetic study (P < 0.0001). The results of this study suggest that increasing the number of African Americans in genetic databases may be achieved by increasing efforts to locate and contact them.

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    • "Other reasons , such as the failure of researchers to better engage and invite racial / ethnic minorities to participate in genetics and genomic research ( Hartz et al . , 2011 ) or the actual lower number of racial / ethnic minorities compared to number of people in the racial majority were not consistently discussed . Two examples of providing explanations other than lower rates of research partici - pation are presented below : 2031 V1 ( to an African American participant ) : Genetic counselor e Probably so"
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