Cancer incidence in the south Asian population of England (1990-92).
Cancer incidence among English south Asians (residents in England with ethnic origins in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh) is described and compared with non-south Asian and Indian subcontinent rates. The setting for the study was areas covered by Thames, Trent, West Midlands and Yorkshire cancer registries. The study identified 356 555 cases of incident cancer (ICD9:140-208) registered between 1990 and 1992, including 3845 classified as English south Asian. The main outcome measures were age specific and directly standardized incidence rates for all cancer sites (ICD9:140-208). English south Asian incidence rates for all sites combined were significantly lower than non-south Asian rates but higher than Indian subcontinent rates. English south Asian rates were substantially higher than Indian subcontinent rates for a number of common sites including lung cancer in males, breast cancer in females and lymphoma in both sexes. English south Asian rates for childhood and early adult cancer (0-29 years) were similar or higher than non-south Asian rates. English south Asian rates were significantly higher than non-south Asian rates for Hodgkin's disease in males, cancer of the tongue, mouth, oesophagus, thyroid gland and myeloid leukaemia in females, and cancer of the hypopharynx, liver and gall bladder in both sexes. The results are consistent with a transition from the lower cancer risk of the country of ethnic origin to that of the country of residence. They suggest that detrimental changes in lifestyle and other exposures have occurred in the migrant south Asian population. (+info
Biochemical indices of osteomalacia in pregnant Asian immigrants in Britain.
Serum calcium, phosphate and alkaline phosphatase, and urinary calcium excretion were examined during the second trimester of uncomplicated normal pregnancy in Asian immigrants to Britain and in local Caucasians. The mean serum calcium was significantly lower in Asians than in Caucasians, and the mean serum alkaline phosphatase was significantly higher in Asians. The geometric mean of the urinary calcium excretion was highly significantly lower in Asians than in Caucasians. The variances of the serum calcium, serum alkaline phosphatase, and urine calcium excretion did not differ significantly in the two populations. This indicates that there is a shift in values of immigrant Asians as a group compared with Caucasians. A comparison with figures obtained on normal nonpregnant persons of both suggests that the shift is not an inherent feature of the Asian population. (+info
Ancestral Asian source(s) of new world Y-chromosome founder haplotypes.
Haplotypes constructed from Y-chromosome markers were used to trace the origins of Native Americans. Our sample consisted of 2,198 males from 60 global populations, including 19 Native American and 15 indigenous North Asian groups. A set of 12 biallelic polymorphisms gave rise to 14 unique Y-chromosome haplotypes that were unevenly distributed among the populations. Combining multiallelic variation at two Y-linked microsatellites (DYS19 and DXYS156Y) with the unique haplotypes results in a total of 95 combination haplotypes. Contra previous findings based on Y- chromosome data, our new results suggest the possibility of more than one Native American paternal founder haplotype. We postulate that, of the nine unique haplotypes found in Native Americans, haplotypes 1C and 1F are the best candidates for major New World founder haplotypes, whereas haplotypes 1B, 1I, and 1U may either be founder haplotypes and/or have arrived in the New World via recent admixture. Two of the other four haplotypes (YAP+ haplotypes 4 and 5) are probably present because of post-Columbian admixture, whereas haplotype 1G may have originated in the New World, and the Old World source of the final New World haplotype (1D) remains unresolved. The contrasting distribution patterns of the two major candidate founder haplotypes in Asia and the New World, as well as the results of a nested cladistic analysis, suggest the possibility of more than one paternal migration from the general region of Lake Baikal to the Americas. (+info
The cost effectiveness of strategies for the treatment of intestinal parasites in immigrants.
BACKGROUND: Currently, more than 600,000 immigrants enter the United States each year from countries where intestinal parasites are endemic. At entry persons with parasitic infections may be asymptomatic, and stool examinations are not a sensitive method of screening for parasitosis. Albendazole is a new, broad-spectrum antiparasitic drug, which was approved recently by the Food and Drug Administration. International trials have shown albendazole to be safe and effective in eradicating many parasites. In the United States there is now disagreement about whether to screen all immigrants for parasites, treat all immigrants presumptively, or do nothing unless they have symptoms. METHODS: We compared the costs and benefits of no preventive intervention (watchful waiting) with those of universal screening or presumptive treatment with 400 mg of albendazole per day for five days. Those at risk were defined as immigrants to the United States from Asia, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Cost effectiveness was expressed both in terms of the cost of treatment per disability-adjusted life-year (DALY) averted (one DALY is defined as the loss of one year of healthy life to disease) and in terms of the cost per hospitalization averted. RESULTS: As compared with watchful waiting, presumptive treatment of all immigrants at risk for parasitosis would avert at least 870 DALYs, prevent at least 33 deaths and 374 hospitalizations, and save at least $4.2 million per year. As compared with watchful waiting, screening would cost $159,236 per DALY averted. CONCLUSIONS: Presumptive administration of albendazole to all immigrants at risk for parasitosis would save lives and money. Universal screening, with treatment of persons with positive stool examinations, would save lives but is less cost effective than presumptive treatment. (+info
Impact of diet on lead in blood and urine in female adults and relevance to mobilization of lead from bone stores.
We measured high precision lead isotope ratios and lead concentrations in blood, urine, and environmental samples to assess the significance of diet as a contributing factor to blood and urine lead levels in a cohort of 23 migrant women and 5 Australian-born women. We evaluated possible correlations between levels of dietary lead intake and changes observed in blood and urine lead levels and isotopic composition during pregnancy and postpartum. Mean blood lead concentrations for both groups were approximately 3 microg/dl. The concentration of lead in the diet was 5.8 +/- 3 microg Pb/kg [geometric mean (GM) 5.2] and mean daily dietary intake was 8.5 microg/kg/day (GM 7.4), with a range of 2-39 microg/kg/day. Analysis of 6-day duplicate dietary samples for individual subjects commonly showed major spikes in lead concentration and isotopic composition that were not reflected by associated changes in either blood lead concentration or isotopic composition. Changes in blood lead levels and isotopic composition observed during and after pregnancy could not be solely explained by dietary lead. These data are consistent with earlier conclusions that, in cases where levels of environmental lead exposure and dietary lead intake are low, skeletal contribution is the dominant contributor to blood lead, especially during pregnancy and postpartum. (+info
mtDNA analysis of Nile River Valley populations: A genetic corridor or a barrier to migration?
To assess the extent to which the Nile River Valley has been a corridor for human migrations between Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa, we analyzed mtDNA variation in 224 individuals from various locations along the river. Sequences of the first hypervariable segment (HV1) of the mtDNA control region and a polymorphic HpaI site at position 3592 allowed us to designate each mtDNA as being of "northern" or "southern" affiliation. Proportions of northern and southern mtDNA differed significantly between Egypt, Nubia, and the southern Sudan. At slowly evolving sites within HV1, northern-mtDNA diversity was highest in Egypt and lowest in the southern Sudan, and southern-mtDNA diversity was highest in the southern Sudan and lowest in Egypt, indicating that migrations had occurred bidirectionally along the Nile River Valley. Egypt and Nubia have low and similar amounts of divergence for both mtDNA types, which is consistent with historical evidence for long-term interactions between Egypt and Nubia. Spatial autocorrelation analysis demonstrates a smooth gradient of decreasing genetic similarity of mtDNA types as geographic distance between sampling localities increases, strongly suggesting gene flow along the Nile, with no evident barriers. We conclude that these migrations probably occurred within the past few hundred to few thousand years and that the migration from north to south was either earlier or lesser in the extent of gene flow than the migration from south to north. (+info
Distribution of haplotypes from a chromosome 21 region distinguishes multiple prehistoric human migrations.
Despite mounting genetic evidence implicating a recent origin of modern humans, the elucidation of early migratory gene-flow episodes remains incomplete. Geographic distribution of haplotypes may show traces of ancestral migrations. However, such evolutionary signatures can be erased easily by recombination and mutational perturbations. A 565-bp chromosome 21 region near the MX1 gene, which contains nine sites frequently polymorphic in human populations, has been found. It is unaffected by recombination and recurrent mutation and thus reflects only migratory history, genetic drift, and possibly selection. Geographic distribution of contemporary haplotypes implies distinctive prehistoric human migrations: one to Oceania, one to Asia and subsequently to America, and a third one predominantly to Europe. The findings with chromosome 21 are confirmed by independent evidence from a Y chromosome phylogeny. Loci of this type will help to decipher the evolutionary history of modern humans. (+info
Cancer mortality in East and Southeast Asian migrants to New South Wales, Australia, 1975-1995.
Routinely collected data for New South Wales were used to analyse cancer mortality in migrants born in East or Southeast Asia according to duration of residence in Australia. A case-control approach compared deaths from cancer at particular sites with deaths from all other cancers, adjusting for age, sex and calendar period. Compared with the Australian-born, these Asian migrants had a 30-fold higher risk of dying from nasopharyngeal cancer in the first 2 decades of residence, falling to ninefold after 30 years, and for deaths from liver cancer, a 12-fold risk in the first 2 decades, falling to threefold after 30 years. The initial lower risk from colorectal, breast or prostate cancers later converged towards the Australian-born level, the change being apparent in the third decade after migration. The relative risk of dying from lung cancer among these Asian migrants was above unity for each category of duration of stay for women, but at or below unity for men, with no trend in risk over time. An environmental or lifestyle influence for nasopharyngeal and liver cancers is suggested as well as for cancers of colon/rectum, breast and prostate. (+info