Racial and Ethnic Groups of Interest in Fertility Research



The National Institutes of Health, to further the goal of reducing and ultimately eliminating health disparities in the USA, requires collection and reporting of data on race and ethnicity for all supported clinical research. Collecting this data requires an agreed upon definition of “race,” which is a difficult undertaking. The NIH uses the same categories as other US federal agencies, but these are meant to be a social-political construct and are not biologically based. Only 10–15 % of genetic variation is found between groups (rather than between individuals), and those single nucleotide polymorphisms that have relatively different frequencies between groups are called Ancestry Informative Markers. These may be of use in categorizing research participants. Ongoing extensive research into Developmental Origins of Health and Disease provides a framework for an epigenetic, transgenerational source of health disparities in disadvantaged groups. Intervention is urgent, as poor health is likely carried forward for generations to come.


Obesity Depression Hydrocarbon Coherence Expense 



The author would like to acknowledge Dr. Alan Decherney and Dr. Richard Reindollar for mentorship and guidance.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyDartmouth Hitchcock Medical CenterLebanonUSA
  2. 2.Program in Reproductive and Adult EndocrinologyNICHD, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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