Genetic ancestry proven powerful in predicting lung function

Genetic ancestry can tell more about a person's potential lung function than the self-identified racial profile commonly used to determine normal lung function reference standards, according to the results of research led by UCSF and Northwestern University. "When we force patients into an individual box, such as 'African-American' or 'Caucasian', we're missing a lot of genetic information," noted the study's senior author Esteban G. Burchard, MD, MPH, a faculty member in the UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences. "This study provides new evidence that genetic ancestry correlates to physiologic measures," he adds. "With it, we're one step closer to personalized medicine."

The study was published July 7, 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine. It is the largest of its kind to date, spanning 12 research centers and pooling data on more than 3,000 African-American patients.


Genetic ancestry data improve diagnosis in asthma and lung disease

Research paper

Genetic Ancestry in Lung-Function Predictions

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