Racial and ethnic groups of interest in fertility research

Ellen H. Goldstein, James H. Segars

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The National Institutes of Health, to further the goal of reducing and ultimately eliminating health disparities in the USA, requires collection and reporting of data on race and ethnicity for all supported clinical research. Collecting this data requires an agreed upon definition of race, which is a difficult undertaking. The NIH uses the same categories as other US federal agencies, but these are meant to be a social-political construct and are not biologically based. Only 10-15 % of genetic variation is found between groups (rather than between individuals), and those single nucleotide polymorphisms that have relatively different frequencies between groups are called Ancestry Informative Markers. These may be of use in categorizing research participants. Ongoing extensive research into Developmental Origins of Health and Disease provides a framework for an epigenetic, transgenerational source of health disparities in disadvantaged groups. Intervention is urgent, as poor health is likely carried forward for generations to come.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEthnic Differences in Fertility and Assisted Reproduction
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781461475484
ISBN (Print)1461475473, 9781461475477
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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