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Revista Cubana de Medicina General Integral

versión impresa ISSN 0864-2125versión On-line ISSN 1561-3038


MARTINEZ FUENTES, Antonio Julián  y  FERNANDEZ DIAZ, Ivonne Elena. Is race an useful criterion in medical practice?. Rev Cubana Med Gen Integr [online]. 2006, vol.22, n.1. ISSN 0864-2125.

Racial classifications are frequently used to explain the health profiles of human groups. “Race” has been associated with diverse diseases and it is started from the criterion that there is a “racial cause” in the susceptibility to many of them. The advances achieved in the study of the human genoma have led scientists from many countries to work very hard in the search of the gene or genes that within each race are the cause of specific diseases, minimizing ocassionally the environmental influences. What we usually call race is a social construction reflecting the imbrication of aspects of biology of human groups, the particular historical conditions and the economic, political, social and cultural factors. It is more accurate and useful to analyze the variations in the propensity to certain diseases existing among the human groups in terms of variations in the frequencies of their genes and in their relation to environmental, social, economic and cultural factors than starting from the inaccurate and obsolete biological “race” concept, which interferes with the objective study of some diseases and does not function as an efficient criterion in biomedical research.

Palabras clave : Race; disease; biological race.

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