Genetic research is suffering from a lack of diversity. "A recent analysis published in the journal Nature revealed that 81 percent of participants in these genome-wide association studies were of European descent. Together, individuals of African, Latin American, and native or indigenous ancestry represent less than 4 percent of all genomic samples analyzed.“ With small research percentages, finding cures for ailments such as heart disease becomes increasingly difficult as the genetic makeup of ethnicities is different.
Adebowale Adeyemo, deputy director of the Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health at the National Human Genome Research Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health) explains that many poorer countries in Africa, South America and Asia are left out of research programs due to the stigma of infectious diseases being the main issues. This is incorrect as diseases such as heart disease and diabetes are on the rise.
Multiple groups are coming together to improve research diversity including the Human Heredity and Health in Africa Initiative, or H3Africa which seeks "to increase what researchers know about genetics in African populations” and the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos which has developed a study “to establish the risk factors for cardiovascular and pulmonary disease and chronic diseases in Latin Americans.”
Research is key to discovering genetic traits and cures for all humans. Programs like these will help all people in the future.