Distribution of transferrin saturations in the African-American population.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

To determine if transferrin saturations in African Americans may reflect the presence of a gene that influences iron metabolism, we analyzed the distribution of these values in 808 African Americans from the second National Health and Nutrition Survey. We tested for a mixture of three normal distributions consistent with population genetics for a major locus effect in which the proportion of normal homozygotes is p2; of heterozygotes, 2pq; of affected homozygotes, q2; and in which p+q = 1. Three subpopulations based on transferrin saturation were present (P < .0001) and the fit to a mixture of three normal distributions was good (P = .2). A proportion of .009 was included in a subpopulation with a mean +/- standard deviation transferrin saturation of 63.4% +/- 5.7% (postulated homozygotes for a gene that influences iron metabolism), while a proportion of .136 had an intermediate saturation of 38.0% +/- 5.7% (postulated heterozygotes) and .856 a saturation of 24.6% +/- 5.7% (postulated normal homozygotes). These proportions were consistent with population genetics because the sum of the square roots of the proportions with the lowest mean transferrin saturation (P = .925) and the highest (q = 0.093) was approximately 1 (1.018). The results are consistent with the presence in African Americans of a common locus that influences iron metabolism.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gordeuk, VR; McLaren, CE; Looker, AC; Hasselblad, V; Brittenham, GM

Published Date

  • March 15, 1998

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 91 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 2175 - 2179

PubMed ID

  • 9490706

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-4971


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States