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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
Author, Analytic
Hanchard, Neil A.; Hambleton, Ian R.; McKenzie, Colin A.
Author Role
Presenters
Author Affiliation
Tropical Medicine Research Institue
Paper/Section Title
The frequency of the sickle allele in Jamaica: Analysis of data from two neonatal screening cohorts
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Proceedings Title
Fiftieth annual scientific meeting of the Caribbean Health Research Council
Date of Meeting
April 21-23, 2005
Place of Meeting
Trinidad and Tobago
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Abstract
Objective: To determine whether there has been a change in the frequency of the sickle allele in Jamaica over the past 30 years. Design and Methods: The authors compared haemoglobin electrophoresis results from a hospital-based screening programme for 104,183 neonates, born in the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew and St. Catherine (Jamaica) and carried out between 1995 and 2003, with a similar hospital-based screen of 100,000 neonates carried out between 1973 and 1981. Results: The authors found no significant difference in the frequency of the sickle trait or allele over the time-period evaluated (approximately one generation). Samples from St. Catherine had significantly different allele and trait frequencies than samples from Kingston (P < 0.001 and P < 0.05 respectively). Even after taking this heterogeneity into consideration, however, the differences between the two cohorts remained unremarkable. Conclusions: There has been no discernible change in the frequency of the sickle allele or trait in Jamaica over the past generation. This result appears to be at odds with the malaria hypothesis for the sickle allele, which, in general, predicts that in an environment in which malaria is not endemic, the frequency of the sickle allele should decline with each generation. Further work is required in order to test the validity of the assumptions made under the general malaria hypothesis for the contemporary Jamaican population.....
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