Sex diversity has been observed for many body parameters, and special attention has been paid to changes during puberty and menopause. In the present study we performed a multivariate analysis on several body fat parameters to obtain a synthetic overview of sex differences from the early reproductive period to the postreproductive period. The sample study is composed of 373 healthy Italian adults (294 females and 79 males). We have examined the amount of fat (in kilograms, as measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) in the left arm, left leg, left trunk hemisphere, right arm, right leg, and right trunk hemisphere, waist to hip ratio, and BMI. The sex differentiation from the early reproductive to the postreproductive period of life has been based on differences between the position of male and female centroids on the discriminant functions obtained for various periods of life. The difference between males and females increases suddenly after 20 years, reaching a maximum at 30 years. In the period between 30 and 40 years the difference decreases quickly, and after 40 years the difference is relatively small and remains practically constant. The fact that maximum sex differentiation coincides with age of best reproductive efficiency points to a relationship between the body parameters investigated and hormone production related to human reproduction.
We study the effects of several variables on the prereproductive mortality pattern in the isolated and rural population of La Alpujarra, located on the western Mediterranean coast (southeast Spain), in the first half of the 20th century. The study is a retrospective analysis from a total sample of 2,200 deliveries, 2,085 of which were born alive and 171 of which did not survive to the 20th birthday. The potential influences of birthdate of children, twinning, firstborn, parental inbreeding, and sex on Alpujarran mortality were analyzed through logistic regression. Parity, family size, and birth interval effects were estimated through the difference between observed and expected mortality rates. In every case four age groups of mortality were considered because of the large influence of child growth: neonatal (less than 1 month of life), postneonatal infant (between 1 month and 1 year old), childhood (1–5 years old), and youth (5–20 years old). The Alpujarran prereproductive mortality pattern can be summarized as the result of three main risk factors: biodemographic, biomechanical, and social and health determinants. In general, every factor showed a decreased effect as children grew. The most significant determinants were birthdate of children, which is more related to increased mother’s awareness of child care than to health improvement, and family size associated with decreasing alimentary resources as the sibling number increased. Male mortality was higher than female mortality in children older than 1 year but not for infant mortality, possibly as a result of a reproductive behavior favorable to males. Although firstborn status and twinning appeared associated with high mortality, maternal age and birth interval were related to low risk, but these influences always ceased after the first month of life. Parental inbreeding did not show any effect on infant, childhood, or youth mortality.
We investigate the nutritional status of women in India and its relation to the prevalence of chronic energy deficiency (CED) and obesity. To do this, we have used the data from the Indian National Family Health Survey, 1998–1999, on body mass index (BMI) of ever-married women, ages 15–49 years, along with several socioeconomic factors, such as level of education, religion or caste, occupational status, and standard of living index. The study was based on 81,712 women from 26 states and 6 zones, which were grouped according to geographic proximity of the states of India. A multiple linear regression analysis was done to see the relation between nutritional status of women and different socioeconomic factors. The data reveal that the prevalences of CED, overweight, and obesity in India are 31.2%, 9.4%, and 2.6%, respectively. The incidences of CED and obesity are negatively related. The prevalence of CED is the lowest in Arunachal Pradesh and highest in Orissa. Punjab has the highest prevalence of obesity, and Bihar has the lowest. For the zonewise distribution the Northeast zone has the lowest degree of prevalence of CED and the East zone is at the bottom of the list with the highest degree of malnutrition. We also found that the nutritional status of women goes together with the enhancement of their educational status, standard of living, and so on. There are also significant differences between rural and urban sectors and among castes, religions, and occupations. Furthermore, regression analysis shows that all the socioeconomic variables considered here significantly affect BMI in Indian women.
Consanguineous marriages have been practiced around the globe by many societies from time immemorial, particularly in South India. Consanguineous marriages play a major role in the health of a population, and diseases leading to mortality of the progeny are a consequence of detrimental recessive genes. To evaluate the effects of ancestral consanguinity on mortality in relation to consanguineous marriage, we have ascertained data from 1,500 women belonging to three endogamous communities (Akuthota Reddy, Odde, and Madiga) of Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh, India. There were 500 women from each community. For each marriage we drew a family pedigree, extended upward to two earlier generations on either side of the spouses, to determine the prevalence and pattern of consanguinity, with detailed information on fertility and mortality. We observed a significant difference in the mortality rates between consanguineous and nonconsanguineous marriages when all the marriages of the women, women’s parents, and (women’s) husband’s parents were considered in all three communities. In inbreeding, the offspring of earlier generations might have passed on deleterious genes to later generations (under unfavorable conditions), which resulted in a negative aspect of reproduction (among the offspring of the present couple).
The genetic profile based on autosomal markers, four microsatellite DNA markers (D8S315, FES, D8S592, and D2S1328) and two minisatellite DNA markers (TPMT and PDGFA), were analyzed in six endogamous populations to examine the effect of geographic and linguistic affiliation on the genetic affinities among the groups. The six populations are from three different states of India and are linguistically different. Marathas from western India speak Marathi, an Indo-European language. Arayas, Muslims, Ezhavas, and Nairs from Kerala state of South India speak Malayalam, and Iyers from Tamil Nadu state speak Tamil. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood samples of random, normal, healthy individuals. Locus-specific PCR amplification was carried out, followed by electrophoresis of the amplicons and genotyping. All the loci were highly polymorphic and followed Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, except for loci D8S315 and PDGFA in Iyers and Marathas, respectively. All six loci had high heterozygosity (average heterozygosity ranged from 0.73 to 0.76) and high polymorphism information content (0.57–0.90). The extent of gene differentiation among the six populations (GST = 0.030) was greater than that for four Kerala populations (GST = 0.011), suggesting proximity between the four Kerala populations. This result conforms with the cultural and linguistic background of the populations. The extent of diversity found among the populations probably resulted from the strict endogamous practices that they follow.
Interindividual and interethnic differences in allele frequencies of N-acetyltransferase (NAT2) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are responsible for phenotypic variability of adverse drug reactions and susceptibility to cancer. We genotyped the seven NAT2 common SNPs in 127 randomly selected unrelated northern Sudanese subjects using allele-specific and RFLP polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based methods. Molecular genotyping was enough to designate alleles for 41 individuals unambiguously, whereas 63 individuals’ alleles were inferred from haplotypes previously described. In the remaining 23 individuals, however, the phase of the SNPs could not be decided because of multiple SNP heterozygotes. Using computational methods in the HAP and Phase programs, we confirmed the inferred alleles of the 62 individuals and predicted the remaining 23 ambiguous alleles. Twelve NAT2 alleles were identified. Four alleles coded for rapid acetylators (18%), and eight alleles coded for slow acetylators (82%). Two genotypes coded for rapid acetylation (3.9%), 10 for intermediate acetylation (27.6%), and 13 for slow acetylation (68.5%). The G191A African SNP and the G857A predominantly Asian SNP were each detected at a low frequency of 3.1%. The combination of molecular and computational analysis was useful in resolving ambiguous genotypes of NAT2 in multiple SNP heterozygotes. Among the northern Sudanese the SNPs associated with slow acetylation are more prevalent than in Caucasians and Asians. This and other African studies are suggestive of an African origin for NAT2-associated polymorphism.
Hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with increased coronary artery disease (CAD) risk. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is a key enzyme in the metabolism of homocysteine and presents a common mutation (C677T) that leads to a thermolabile enzyme, mild hyperhomocysteinemia, and increased CAD risk. The C677T MTHFR mutation was studied in 772 subjects (480 Caucasian Brazilians and 292 African Brazilians) who underwent coronary angiography at the hemodynamic center of the Santa Izabel Hospital in Salvador, Bahia State, Brazil. The 677T allele frequency was increased in Caucasian Brazilians (28.1%) compared to the frequency observed in African Brazilians (18.3%; p < 0.001). In Caucasian Brazilians the frequency of the 677T homozygous genotype was increased in CAD cases (10.4%) compared to control subjects (1.4%; p = 0.014) in males but not in females. In African Brazilians the mutation was not associated with CAD in either sex. The multivariate logistic regression analysis of all the samples shows that the 677T homozygous interaction with sex was a significant CAD predictor, independent of other classical risk factors and ethnic group. The odds ratio associated with male 677T homozygotes was increased 9.2-fold ( p = 0.021) compared to the 677C carriers. The present study suggests that the C677T MTHFR mutation is associated with increased CAD risk in a sexdependent manner in Brazilians.
We investigated the genetic differentiation of five X-chromosome STR markers among five native South American Amerindian populations inhabiting three different areas of the Gran Chaco: Mocoví, Chorote, Wichí, Lengua, and Ayoreo. The observed genetic structure showed correspondence with geographic distribution more clearly than previous information obtained from autosomal STRs for the same samples. On the other hand, X-chromosome STR data did not agree with linguistic affinities. These markers proved to be informative for the study of the native populations of the Gran Chaco region.