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A Review of Cancer Genetics and Genomics Studies in Africa.

Front Oncol 2020 15;10:606400. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Department of Translational Genomics, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and is projected to overtake infectious disease as the leading cause of mortality in Africa within the next two decades. Cancer is a group of genomic diseases that presents with intra- and inter-population unique phenotypes, with Black populations having the burden of morbidity and mortality for most types. At large, the prevention and treatment of cancers have been propelled by the understanding of the genetic make-up of the disease of mostly non-African populations. Read More

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February 2021

Human burials at the Kisese II rockshelter, Tanzania.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2021 May 21;175(1):187-200. Epub 2021 Feb 21.

Institute of Human Origins, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA.

Objectives: The Late Pleistocene and early Holocene in eastern Africa are associated with complex evolutionary and demographic processes that contributed to the population variability observed in the region today. However, there are relatively few human skeletal remains from this time period. Here we describe six individuals from the Kisese II rockshelter in Tanzania that were excavated in 1956, present a radiocarbon date for one of the individuals, and compare craniodental morphological diversity among eastern African populations. Read More

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Small body size phenotypes among Middle and Later Stone Age Southern Africans.

J Hum Evol 2021 Mar 8;152:102943. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB2 3QG, UK; Department of Anthropology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, N6A 5C2, UK; Department of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Kahlaische Str. 10, Jena, 07745, Germany.

Modern humans originated between 300 and 200 ka in structured populations throughout Africa, characterized by regional interaction and diversity. Acknowledgment of this complex Pleistocene population structure raises new questions about the emergence of phenotypic diversity. Holocene Southern African Later Stone Age (LSA) skeletons and descendant Khoe-San peoples have small adult body sizes that may reflect long-term adaptation to the Cape environment. Read More

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Prevalence and Factors Associated with Mental and Emotional Health Outcomes among Africans during the COVID-19 Lockdown Period-A Web-based Cross-Sectional Study.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 01 21;18(3). Epub 2021 Jan 21.

African Vision Research Institute (AVRI), Discipline of Optometry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Durban 3629, South Africa.

Mental health and emotional responses to the effects of COVID-19 lockdown in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are of serious public health concern and may negatively affect the mental health status of people. Hence, this study assessed the prevalence of mental health symptoms as well as emotional reactions among sub-Saharan Africans (SSAs) and associated factors among SSAs during the COVID-19 lockdown period. This was a web-based cross-sectional study on mental health and emotional features from 2005 respondents in seven SSA countries. Read More

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January 2021

Boundaries of Belonging: Theorizing Black African Migrant Experiences in Australia.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 12 23;18(1). Epub 2020 Dec 23.

School of Arts and Social Science, Southern Cross University, Gold Coast, QLD 4225, Australia.

As nationalist ideologies intensify in Australia, so do the experiences of 'everyday racism' and exclusion for Black African immigrants. In this article, we utilize critical theories and engage with colonial histories to contextualize Afrodiasporic experiences in Australia, arguing that the conditional acceptance of Black bodies within Australian spaces is contingent upon the status quo of the white hegemony. The tropes and discourses that render the bodies of Black African migrants simultaneously invisible and hyper-visible indicate that immigration is not only a movement of bodies, but also a phenomenon solidly tied to global inequality, power, and the abjection of blackness. Read More

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December 2020

Differences and determinants of vitamin D deficiency among UK biobank participants: A cross-ethnic and socioeconomic study.

Clin Nutr 2020 Nov 25. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

Australian Centre for Precision Health, Unit of Clinical and Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia; South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, Australia. Electronic address:

Background: The public health relevance of true vitamin D deficiency is undisputed, although controversy remains regarding optimal vitamin D status. Few contemporary cross-ethnic studies have investigated the prevalence and determinants of very low 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations.

Methods: We conducted cross-ethnic analyses on the prevalence and determinants of vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D ≤ 25 nmol/L) using data from 440,581 UK Biobank participants, of which 415,903 identified as White European, 7880 Asian, 7602 Black African, 1383 Chinese, and 6473 of mixed ancestry. Read More

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November 2020

Craniofacial and mandibular variation in colonial populations of the southern Andes during the 16 to 19 centuries.

Homo 2020 Nov;71(4):317-329

FFyL (UNCuyo), CIRSF (Área Fundacional de Mendoza), CONICET.

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the morphological variation of human populations that inhabited the southern Andes (Mendoza city, Argentina) during 16 to 19 centuries. That period represents an encounter of several distinctive populations inhabiting the same area: Europeans, descendants from Europeans (), Africans, and Native Americans. In this paper, we study the shape changes of the cranial base, cranial vault, facial skeleton, and mandible to evaluate if the craniofacial variation differs in relation to the colonial periods and burial areas. Read More

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November 2020

Patterns of Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer Among Nigerians and African Americans.

JCO Glob Oncol 2020 10;6:1647-1655

University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA.

Purpose: Colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence rates are increasing among individuals < 50 years of age (early-onset CRC) globally with causes unknown. Racial/ethnic disparities in early-onset CRC have also grown more pronounced, because Black individuals have higher early-onset CRC incidence and poorer survival compared with White individuals. We describe the prevalence and burden of early-onset CRC among Africans in Nigeria and African Americans (AAs) in the United States. Read More

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October 2020

Post-migration well-being of Sub-Saharan Africans in China: a nationwide cross-sectional survey.

Qual Life Res 2021 Apr 9;30(4):1025-1035. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

Dermatology Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

Purpose: This study aims to understand the quality of life (QOL) among Sub-Saharan African (SSA) migrants and explore the factors that contribute to and shape SSA migrants' QOL and shed light on how post-migration factors affect their QOL in China.

Methods: We conducted a nationwide cross-sectional survey on QOL of SSA migrants in China from August, 2019 to November, 2019. We recruited SSA migrants using a combination of peer-referred online and offline surveys. Read More

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Abdominal visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue and associations with cardiometabolic risk in Inuit, Africans and Europeans: a cross-sectional study.

BMJ Open 2020 09 14;10(9):e038071. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

Clinical Epidemiology, Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Gentofte, Denmark.

Objectives: Abdominal fat has been identified as a risk marker of cardiometabolic disease independent of overall adiposity. However, it is not clear whether there are ethnic disparities in this risk. We investigated the associations of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) with cardiometabolic risk factors in three ethnic diverse populations of Inuit, Africans and Europeans. Read More

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September 2020

The African-American population with a low allele frequency of SNP rs1990760 (T allele) in IFIH1 predicts less IFN-beta expression and potential vulnerability to COVID-19 infection.

Authors:
Amit K Maiti

Immunogenetics 2020 09 31;72(6-7):387-391. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

Department of Genetics and Genomics, Mydnavar, 2645 Somerset Boulevard, Troy, MI, 48084, USA.

Covid-19 has caused worldwide devastation. IFIH1 is a pattern recognition receptor that senses coronavirus RNA and triggers interferon production as a first line of viral immune defense. The role of IFIH1 polymorphism, rs1990760 (C>T; aaA946T) in the epidemiology of viral infection is well studied, and the minor allele T resists viral infection. Read More

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September 2020

The Y-chromosome of the Soliga, an ancient forest-dwelling tribe of South India.

Gene X 2020 Dec 13;5:100026. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Department of Molecular Biology, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, USA.

A previous autosomal STR study provided evidence of a connection between the ancient Soliga tribe at the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent and Australian aboriginal populations, possibly reflecting an eastbound coastal migration circa (15 Kya). The Soliga are considered to be among India's earliest inhabitants. In this investigation, we focus on the Y chromosomal characteristics shared between the Soliga population and other Indian tribes as well as western Eurasia and Sub-Saharan Africa groups. Read More

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December 2020

Low attendance by non-native women to human papillomavirus vaccination and cervical cancer screening - A Danish nationwide register-based cohort study.

Prev Med Rep 2020 Sep 28;19:101106. Epub 2020 Apr 28.

Department of Public Health Programmes, Randers Regional Hospital, Skovlyvej 15, DK-8930 Randers, NO, Denmark.

Background: Cervical cancer is preventable through human papillomavirus vaccination and cervical cancer screening. However, possibly due to systemic, individual (e.g. Read More

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September 2020

Prevalence of metabolic syndrome in primary health settings in Qatar: a cross sectional study.

BMC Public Health 2020 May 3;20(1):611. Epub 2020 May 3.

Directorate of Clinical Affairs, Primary Health Care Corporation, P.O. Box 26555, Doha, Qatar.

Background: In Qatar, prevalence of metabolic components is significantly higher compared to other countries. It is therefore urgent to understand the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) with the goal of identifying etiologic factors in Qatar. This study was undertaken to estimate the prevalence of MetS, by age, gender and nationality within primary care settings in Qatar. Read More

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Hospitalization Experience of Muslim Migrants in Hospitals in Southern Spain-Communication, Relationship with Nurses and Culture. A Focused Ethnography.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 04 17;17(8). Epub 2020 Apr 17.

Department of Research Methods in Education, University of Almeria, 04120 Almeria, Spain.

The coast of southern Spain is one of the main entry points for Africans who want to reach Europe; in this area, there is an important immigrant community of African origin, mostly Muslims. The objective of this study is to describe and understand the hospitalization experience of Muslim migrants in public hospitals in southern Spain, especially their relationship with the nurses who care for them. Data were collected from May 2016 to June 2017. Read More

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Origins, Admixture Dynamics, and Homogenization of the African Gene Pool in the Americas.

Mol Biol Evol 2020 06;37(6):1647-1656

Departamento de Genética, Ecologia e Evolução, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.

The Transatlantic Slave Trade transported more than 9 million Africans to the Americas between the early 16th and the mid-19th centuries. We performed a genome-wide analysis using 6,267 individuals from 25 populations to infer how different African groups contributed to North-, South-American, and Caribbean populations, in the context of geographic and geopolitical factors, and compared genetic data with demographic history records of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. We observed that West-Central Africa and Western Africa-associated ancestry clusters are more prevalent in northern latitudes of the Americas, whereas the South/East Africa-associated ancestry cluster is more prevalent in southern latitudes of the Americas. Read More

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Assessing the feasibility of a life history calendar to measure HIV risk and health in older South Africans.

PLoS One 2020 15;15(1):e0226024. Epub 2020 Jan 15.

Department of Sociology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States of America.

Life history calendars capture patterns of behavior over time, uncovering transitions and trajectories. Despite the growing numbers of older persons living with HIV in southern Africa, little is known about how HIV testing and risk unfold in this population. Operationalizing a life course approach with the use of an innovative Testing and Risk History Calendar [TRHC], we collected pilot data on older South Africans' risk and HIV testing. Read More

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Evaluation of Cord Blood Total Nucleated and CD34 Cell Content, Cell Dose, and 8-Allele HLA Match by Patient Ancestry.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 04 19;26(4):734-744. Epub 2019 Nov 19.

Adult Bone Marrow Transplantation Service, Department of Medicine Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York; Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York.

How cord blood (CB) CD34 cell content and dose and 8-allele HLA match vary by patient ancestry is unknown. We analyzed cell content, dose, and high-resolution HLA-match of units selected for CB transplantation (CBT) by recipient ancestry. Of 544 units (286 infused, 258 next-best backups) chosen for 144 racially diverse adult patients (median weight, 81 kg), the median total nucleated cell (TNC) and CD34cell contents were higher for Europeans than for non-Europeans: 216 × 10versus 197 × 10 (P = . Read More

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Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) diversity and clinical applications in South Africa.

S Afr Med J 2019 Sep 10;109(8b):29-34. Epub 2019 Sep 10.

Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Department of Immunology, and SAMRC Extramural Unit for Stem Cell Research and Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

The major histocompatibility complex, known as the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) complex in humans, forms an integral component of adaptive T cell immunity by presenting self and non-self peptides to the T cell receptor, thereby allowing clonal expansion of responding peptide-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. HLA likewise forms an integral part of the innate immune response through the binding of killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) molecules, which regulate the response of natural killer (NK) cells. The HLA complex is found on the short arm of chromosome 6 and is the most polymorphic region in the human genome. Read More

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September 2019

Human origins in a southern African palaeo-wetland and first migrations.

Nature 2019 11 28;575(7781):185-189. Epub 2019 Oct 28.

Genomics and Epigenetics Division, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Anatomically modern humans originated in Africa around 200 thousand years ago (ka). Although some of the oldest skeletal remains suggest an eastern African origin, southern Africa is home to contemporary populations that represent the earliest branch of human genetic phylogeny. Here we generate, to our knowledge, the largest resource for the poorly represented and deepest-rooting maternal L0 mitochondrial DNA branch (198 new mitogenomes for a total of 1,217 mitogenomes) from contemporary southern Africans and show the geographical isolation of L0d1'2, L0k and L0g KhoeSan descendants south of the Zambezi river in Africa. Read More

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November 2019

Contextual drivers of HIV risk among young African women.

J Int AIDS Soc 2019 07;22 Suppl 4:e25302

Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health, National Medical Research Institute, Mwanza, Tanzania.

Introduction: Significant progress has been made in the African HIV pandemic; however, the pace of incidence decline has slowed or stalled in many East and Southern African countries, especially among young women. This stall is worrying because many countries have burgeoning youth populations. There is an important window of opportunity to halt the epidemic as well as the potential for millions more infections if primary prevention efforts are not strengthened. Read More

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African KhoeSan ancestry linked to high-risk prostate cancer.

BMC Med Genomics 2019 06 4;12(1):82. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

Laboratory for Human Comparative and Prostate Cancer Genomics, Genomics and Epigenetics Division, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, 370 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010, Australia.

Backgrounds: Genetic diversity is greatest within Africa, in particular the KhoeSan click-speaking peoples of southern Africa. South African populations represent admixture fractions including differing degrees of African, African-KhoeSan and non-African genetic ancestries. Within the United States, African ancestry has been linked to prostate cancer presentation and mortality. Read More

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Southern Africans address human remains management.

Authors:
Susan Pfeiffer

Evol Anthropol 2019 Jul 20;28(4):164-165. Epub 2019 May 20.

Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

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Prevalence of non-communicable diseases by age, gender and nationality in publicly funded primary care settings in Qatar.

BMJ Nutr Prev Health 2019 17;2(1):20-29. Epub 2019 May 17.

Directorate of Clinical Affairs, Department of Clinical Research, Primary Health Care Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

Background: In Qatar, as with other countries, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have been the leading cause of death. This study aims to describe the prevalence of four NCDs clusters (cardiovascular diseases (coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease), cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and type 2 diabetes (T2DM)) by age, gender and nationality (Qataris and non-Qataris) accessing publicly funded primary care services to inform healthcare planning and strategies.

Methods: Cross-sectional study design was used. Read More

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A sub-chronic Xysmalobium undulatum hepatotoxicity investigation in HepG2/C3A spheroid cultures compared to an in vivo model.

J Ethnopharmacol 2019 Jul 19;239:111897. Epub 2019 Apr 19.

Pharmacen™, Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom, 2520, South Africa; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, DK-5230, Odense M, Denmark; Celvivo IVS, Blommenslyst, Denmark. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacology Relevance: Traditional herbal medicines are utilized by 27 million South Africans. Xysmalobium undulatum (Uzara) is one of the most widely used traditional medicinal plants in Southern Africa. A false belief in the safety of herbal medicine may result in liver injury. Read More

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Racial disparities in access to HLA-matched unrelated donor transplants: a prospective 1312-patient analysis.

Blood Adv 2019 04;3(7):939-944

Adult Bone Marrow Transplantation Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Availability of 8/8 HLA-allele matched unrelated donors (URDs) is a barrier for ethnic and racial minorities. We prospectively evaluated receipt of 8/8 HLA-allele matched URD or either 7/8 URD or cord blood (CB) transplants by patient ancestry from 2005 to 2017. Matched URDs were given priority if they were available. Read More

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Determining of * and * Allele Frequency Distribution among Muslim Blood Donors from Southern Thailand.

Malays J Med Sci 2019 Jan 28;26(1):58-65. Epub 2019 Feb 28.

Graduate Program in Medical Technology, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Thammasat University, Pathumtani, Thailand.

Background: The Kidd (JK) blood group system is of clinical importance in transfusion medicine. and allele detections are useful in genetic anthropological studies. This study aimed to determine the frequencies of and alleles among Muslim blood donors from Southern Thailand and to compare how they differ from those of other populations that have been recently studied. Read More

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January 2019

Analyses of Neanderthal introgression suggest that Levantine and southern Arabian populations have a shared population history.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2019 06 19;169(2):227-239. Epub 2019 Mar 19.

Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Objectives: Modern humans are thought to have interbred with Neanderthals in the Near East soon after modern humans dispersed out of Africa. This introgression event likely took place in either the Levant or southern Arabia depending on the dispersal route out of Africa that was followed. In this study, we compare Neanderthal introgression in contemporary Levantine and southern Arabian populations to investigate Neanderthal introgression and to study Near Eastern population history. Read More

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Genomic evidence for shared common ancestry of East African hunting-gathering populations and insights into local adaptation.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 03 19;116(10):4166-4175. Epub 2019 Feb 19.

Department of Genetics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104;

Anatomically modern humans arose in Africa ∼300,000 years ago, but the demographic and adaptive histories of African populations are not well-characterized. Here, we have generated a genome-wide dataset from 840 Africans, residing in western, eastern, southern, and northern Africa, belonging to 50 ethnicities, and speaking languages belonging to four language families. In addition to agriculturalists and pastoralists, our study includes 16 populations that practice, or until recently have practiced, a hunting-gathering (HG) lifestyle. Read More

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The timing of permanent tooth development in a Black Southern African population using the Demirjian method.

Int J Legal Med 2019 Jan 26;133(1):257-268. Epub 2018 Nov 26.

Human Variation and Identification Unit, School of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Background: Many aspects of growth have been documented for Black Southern African children, yet their dental development has not been comprehensively investigated.

Aim: The present study was designed to provide information on age of attainment of dental development stages in Southern African children and to compare the findings with other populations.

Method: This was a community-based cross-sectional study of 642 children (270 males and 372 females). Read More

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January 2019