Geospatial distribution and population substructure of subgroups of US ethnic minorities: implications for perpetuation of health disparities and paucity of precision medicine


Substructure due to familial-associated divisions exists in all large populations. Geographical heterogeneity in US ethnic minorities is a function of historical, social, political, and economic factors overlaying regional geographical biodiversity. Using geospatial, historical, demographic, genetic, and epidemiological databases, we identify 40 US microethnic isolates across the US, the “minorities within ethnic minorities” and locate their geospatial distributions within the US. Key components of the environment relevant to health disparities are identified and elaborated in terms of their impact on genomics. US ethnic minority microethnic isolates often have distinct genetic and social histories from the US ethnic majority that put these isolates at a disadvantage in the quest for access to relevant, precision medicine because of the magnitude of imbedded (North Atlantic Euro-American) bias in the existing databases. However, these microethnic isolates are also at a disadvantage when simply aggregated with their nearest ethnic minority macroethnic group (e.g., generic African American). The use of geospatial and ethnographic analyses has the potential to accelerate the accurate identification of heretofore disadvantaged subgroups of ethnic minority groups, bringing them into the mainstream of genomic diversity studies and healthcare acces

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