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The Hispanic paradox further unraveled?
  1. R P Young1,2,
  2. R J Hopkins1,2
  1. 1 Schools of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. 2 Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert P Young, Respiratory Genetics Group, PO Box 26161, Epsom, Auckland 1344, New Zealand; roberty{at}

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In their cross-sectional study, Powell et al 1 found no evidence that genetic ancestry or self-reported ethnicity effected lung function among US smokers, in particular no evidence of a reduced risk of COPD in Hispanics (Hispanic paradox) previously described in a prospective study by Bruse et al.2 This observation might be due, in part, to the definition of Hispanic and lighter smoking histories in the Powell study.

In the Powell study, only 51% of those defined as Hispanic were Mexican while the rest were predominantly of Caribbean ancestry. This is important because the Mexican Hispanics are of European and American Indian ancestry, whereas the Caribbean …

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to the writing of this letter and approved the final submitted version.

  • Competing interests RPY, and the funding of his research has been supported by grants from the University of Auckland, Auckland District Health Board, Auckland Medical Research Foundation, Health Research Council of New Zealand, Lotteries Health and Synergenz BioSciences Ltd. Synergenz BioSciences Ltd holds patents for gene-based risk testing for lung cancer susceptibility.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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