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IN RESEARCH: Looking at ancestry, women’s health

By Dave Jones on February 2, 2007 in University

UC Davis researchers will conduct a first-of-its-kind genetic study to determine the importance of ancestry on the development of diseases in women, thanks to a grant of nearly $1.4 million from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Researchers will be analyzing samples taken from more than 160,000 postmenopausal women who participated in the 15-year Women's Health Initiative study, which focused on strategies for preventing heart disease, breast and colorectal cancer and osteoporosis fractures -- the most frequent causes of death and poor quality of life in postmenopausal women.

UC Davis was one of 40 sites across the nation that began enrolling women in 1993 for the historic WHI study. More than 4,000 women aged 50 to 70 from the Sacramento region participated at UC Davis over the years. Now, UC Davis is one of 12 institutions nationwide to receive a two-year WHI contract to study genetic and biological markers of disease in postmenopausal women.

Michael Seldin, chair of the Rowe Program in Human Genetics at UC Davis, is the principal investigator, and his co-investigators include John Robbins, UC Davis professor of medicine; and Lihong Qi, assistant professor in the Rowe Program in Human Genetics.

-- Carole Gan, UC Davis Health System

Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,