(ORDO NEWS) — The authors of the new study identified differences in mortality rates among Asians, whites and blacks, and also identified risk factors.
Over the past century, humanity has made progress in improving mortality rates, life expectancy and survival rates for various diseases.
However, according to experts, health disparities between population groups persist and remain a serious problem. Environmental, genetic and social factors play a significant role in this.
“In order to effectively reduce the level of these inequalities, it is critical to first understand the main factors influencing overall mortality and mortality from causes specific to each ethnic group.
Subsequently, these data can be used to develop targeted interventions with the greatest likelihood of impacting each specific group,” explained the authors of the new study, scientists from the School of Biological Sciences and the Laboratory for Applied Bioinformatics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as the National Institute for Minority Health and Disparity. in Health (USA).
Was to study differences in mortality rates and identify important phenotypic risk factors for whites, blacks and Asians in the UK (the authors call them “ethnic groups”, but in fact each unites representatives of more than one ethnic group).
The researchers analyzed data from 477,205 people aged 40 to 69 years, collected from 2006 to 2010 and stored at the British Biobank.
Among other things, they took into account indicators of physical development, lifestyle, results of blood tests, urine tests and genome sequencing, as well as the presence of diseases and death records.
Asians included Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, and other people of Asian origin; to whites – in particular, the British and Irish; blacks are mostly Africans.
For each group, the researchers built Cox proportional regression models to estimate survival.
Observations lasted an average of 12 years. As a result, the authors received 33,393 death records: the proportion of deceased whites was 95.82%, Asians – 1.37%, blacks – 1%.
“For Asians, the leading causes of death were coronary heart disease (22.27%), primary malignancies, or cancer of the digestive system (9.17%). Death due to cancer of the digestive tract was common in blacks (13.43%) and whites (15.69%).
Pearson’s goodness-of-fit test showed a significant association between the leading causes of death and ethnicity, with a particularly strong positive association between coronary heart disease and Asian ancestry, COVID-19 and blacks, as well as respiratory disease, thoracic cancer and whites, ”the scientists said.
Neoplasms, surgeries and/or procedures (eg, on the heart, arteries, veins, or airways) had the biggest impact on overall mortality rates.
But some diagnoses were exceptionally important or more significant for a particular group.
Thus, the presence of mental diagnoses and behavioral disorders increased the relative risk of death in Asians by 60%, and infectious and parasitic diseases increased the probability of death by two and a half times in blacks.
In contrast, gastrointestinal examinations, including upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and colonoscopy, were the only type of inpatient procedure correlated with a reduction in the risk of mortality in all three groups (hazard ratio Asians 0.743; Blacks 0.479; Whites 0.694).
Being female reduced the risk of mortality by more than 36% in Asians and blacks, but this did not play a role in the white group.
By the same 36%, the death rate fell among blacks who had a job or were self-employed.
For whites, smoking turned out to be a significant risk factor (hazard ratio – 1.408), while disability benefits or financial assistance, on the contrary, helped to live longer.
“Increased serum glucose levels were associated with an 18% increase in the relative risk of death in whites. An increase in C-reactive protein was closely associated with an increase in the likelihood of death in blacks.
In the case of Asians, the consumption of butter as the main type of spread doubled the risk of death from digestive tract cancer compared with other types of spread or margarine (hazard ratio – 2.187),” the researchers added.
In general, whites had a higher all-cause mortality rate than Asians and blacks: they showed a “worst chance of survival,” the scientists said.
The same trend was observed in a recent analysis by the UK Office for National Statistics: from 2012 to 2019, whites showed higher rates of death from all causes than other “ethnic groups”.
“A focus on cancer prevention and surveillance techniques such as gastrointestinal, colonic and lower bowel endoscopy could help reduce the overall death rate in the UK regardless of ethnicity,” the authors concluded.
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