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Abstract We investigated the distribution of haptoglobin (HP) alleles and haplotypes among Africans (Ghanaians), Europeans (from South Africa), and Chinese. HP*1F was present only in Africans and Europeans, whereas HP*del was unique to Chinese. Six base substitutions at the promoter region were population specific. Only 3 out of 18 haplotypes were shared among the populations. A probable application of HP in human population genetics appears legitimate.