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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Chronic Lyme - Ethnicity and Genes.

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Author Topic: Chronic Lyme - Ethnicity and Genes.
droid1226
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I've noticed most lyme patients aren't black, this includes African Americans and Africans. Also, if you look at the world wide lyme map of affected countries, Africa has almost none. So is MTHFR the genetic link between symptomatic and asymptomatic?

Just trying to figure this out, not start a race debate

https://www.counsyl.com/services/family-prep-screen/diseases/mthfr-deficiency/

I know a lot of people who get sick with lyme and stay sick, look like me. Very fair skinned and caucasian with European decent. So the Spanish thing throws me a bit. I know MTHFR is crucial to staying sick and getting better. Just wondered if anyone else noticed?

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Posts: 1181 | From ohio | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tincup
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Interesting thoughts. Here's some for you....

Could it be the residents in poorer nations (lack of adequate health care) are not being diagnosed, and therefore, not reported, and worse yet, not treated?

Could it be the "typical rash" that the CDC/IDSA IDiots count on for a diagnosis is not noticed in blacks as often as it would be in whites, especially since the rashes blacks and dark skinned people get often look like bruises?

Somewhere, many moons ago, I read that black men with Lyme are most often misdiagnosed with arthritis, while black women with Lyme were most often misdiagnosed with Lupus.

A while back, a government related agency (IOM?)- forgot which one- had webinar presentations on tick borne diseases, and one of the webinars was, to get their politically correct brownie points, concerning American Indian reservations.

From what I remember, from about 2000 to 20005 the American Indian population had many more cases (over double the numbers) of RMSF than what is found in other populations.

African Americans (men and women) were reported to have a more "severe" case of RMSF also.

Anyhow.. could it be some foreign countries don't have surveillance systems that count cases?

Just some thoughts.

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VV
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Also worthy of note: it seems like close to 90% of patients are female.
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GretaM
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All I know is that I live in a city that is over 70% Asian. Chinese being 50% a large part of the remaining percentage south Asians.
People considered Caucasian make up for 25% this is basically those of European descent.

Every single person in my support group is Caucasian and everyone I have met so far at my docs office is caucasian.

In my neighbourhood, where I got infected Nov 2012, I am very much a visible minority. Somedays I don't see another Caucasian at all.

So that is an excellent point droid. If we are all doing the same thing in my neighbourhood mixing pot, "ie raking leaves, walking the dog" why is a certain demographic more susceptible to the lyme bacteria?
[confused]

Not a race debate, but genes have to be involved somehow for sure.

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canadianmama
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Greta-I wonder if an English support group is not appealing for those who speak other languages, not to mention cultural differences surrounding sharing person details about body health.

I ran a cesarean support group in Vancouver and only white women came. The rate of c sections is not lower for our Asian community.

I think there could be something genetic, but there could also just be the fact that if you are of a certain demographic you end up relating to people in your own demographic move frequently.

Hmmmm...

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Kudzuslipper
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Interesting, I have thought about this too.
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Catgirl
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Maybe they simply are not getting diagnosed, and/or we are overly sensitive for whatever reasons.

BB has 12 extra strands of dna to mess with anyone's dna even if the person doesn't have MTHFR or some other gene variant. It knows no bounds, and the symptoms of lyme are so very subtle, that even a caucasian person could explain each and every little symptom without even considering any form of connection to lyme (my friends and family do this all the time).

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droid1226
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Sickle cell trait occurs in approximately 1 in 12 African Americans; 1 in 1400 Hispanics, and nearly 1 in 100,000 Whites.

Genetics cause these traits in people. Couldn't chronic lyme be the same in reverse?

Sickle cell trait is genetic and raises risk of infection due to sticky red blood cells. Lyme is a cellular disease, isn't it?

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Posts: 1181 | From ohio | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
GretaM
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Hmmm. Canadianmama. Yes maybe!

We had a lyme awareness meeting last month with 170 people showing up. I don't recall seeing any Asians there.

I wonder if bilingual signs would help increase other cultures to come to the awareness meetings.

That is a great idea!

Could it be that china treats the bite?

Could also be traditional Indian and Asian diets have more antimicrobial spices and foods?

So much involved. More studies are needed that's for sure.

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Judie
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I think it's just under reported.

Because of economic reasons and fear of doctors, a lot of people just avoid going and getting diagnosed for anything.

I compare the men that I know to the woman that I know. ALL the men avoid the doctors. The only ones that go is because their wife kept pestering to get something checked out.

Poor families that I've met completely avoid medical care. When you add in race, socio-economic and cultural issues, there's no way to get a really accurate picture as to the scope of Lyme.

I think it would be interesting to do a racial poll here on Lymenet. Also, a lot of people (at least in California) are mixed race, so that just complicates calculations when you have to fill out forms and have to pick only one thing.

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VV
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"Could also be traditional Indian and Asian diets have more antimicrobial spices and foods? "

If that were the case then I would probably not have Lyme! All I ate for years was Indian/Asian or Mexican. I made my own curry powder for 10 years.

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Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by GretaM:

We had a lyme awareness meeting last month with 170 people showing up. I don't recall seeing any Asians there.

I wonder if bilingual signs would help increase other cultures to come to the awareness meetings.


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Yes... I think they have to first be informed about meetings and have to feel that they are welcome there.

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RC1
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Didn't Dr. H go to China recently to talk with them about Babesia?

I think it's lifestyle. I'm a golfer, I get really tan, I'm outside a lot. Golfing is how I got Lyme.

I have a couple of Asian friends that won't go out in the sun because they don't want their skin to tan because they value having white skin. They also use a lot of skin bleaching products in China and some of the other Asian countries.

Some black people won't go out in the sun for fear of their skin getting darker.

If you aren't outside you probably won't get bit by a tick.

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hope4best2012
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I'm in a TBD support group, and I know of people of every single race who have TBDs (Caucasian, African American, Asian, Latino, Indian (South Asian), Native American, etc.), and people all over the world who have TBDs (USA, Western Europe, the UK, Eastern Europe, Asia, South Asia, Australia, South America).

I know of Caucasian people who have tested positive for TBDs, but are able to get better with some or limited treatment, and then show no symptoms and feel ok and can go on with their lives.

I also know of non-Caucasian people who have tested positive for TBDs, but are extremely sick and can't get better despite long-term, aggressive treatment for TBDs.

TBDs can affect anyone and everyone of any race.

Some people with TBDs seek out websites like these, and some people with TBDs don't or aren't aware that websites like these exist.

But the one thing that remains constant is that people of all races can get sick from TBDs.

Posts: 19 | From VA now, used to live in NY (USA). Unable to work due to symptoms. | Registered: Aug 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by hope4best2012:

But the one thing that remains constant is that people of all races can get sick from TBDs.

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I would agree.

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lpkayak
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Vv. That is a good point about spicey food...they eat a lot of herbs spices that kill parasites

I am close with 3 blacks who got lyme. All had different stories. One had medium skin tone and saw a bullseye but didnt know what it was til years later

I know from teaching many kids of color have a hard time tolerating the heat and also dont like outdoor activity-and i have also heard them say they didnt want to get darker


Most of my students were "city kids" -i dont know what the stats are but if it turns out more blacks live in the city then their chance of getting lyme woild be less

I think its a combo of lifestyle and the same priblem we all have with docs just not dxing

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Posts: 13710 | From new england | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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