Race, Genetic Ancestry, and Health

Ken Batai, Rick A. Kittles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Knowledge from human genetic research continuously challenges the notion that race and biology are inextricably linked, with implications across biomedical and public health disciplines. However, biomedical research continues to explore health and disease under a racial framework ignoring and at times confounding the identification of true biological and/or environmental risk factors. Within this article, we present a brief overview of the use of race in biomedical research and studies of human genome variation and how genetic ancestry may help us understand health disparities. We believe that the casual use of "race" to define groups in biomedical research has contributed to our limited understanding of complex disease etiology and risk factors driving health disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalRace and Social Problems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • AIMS
  • Admixture
  • Gene-environment interactions
  • Genetic ancestry
  • Genetic variation
  • Genetics
  • Health disparities
  • Population structure
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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