Previous studies have demonstrated that in admixed populations, West African ancestry is associated with an increased prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In the current study, the effect of Amerindian ancestry in SLE was examined in an admixed population in Argentina. The Argentine population is predominantly European with approximately 20% Amerindian admixture, and a very small (<2%) contribution from West Africa. The results indicate that Amerindian admixture in this population is associated with a substantial increase in SLE susceptibility risk (Odds Ratio = 7.94, P = 0.00006). This difference was not due to known demographic factors, including site of collection, age and gender. In addition, there were trends towards significance for Amerindian ancestry influencing renal disease, age of onset and anti-SSA antibodies. These studies suggest that populations with Amerindian admixture, like those with West African admixture, should be considered in future studies to identify additional allelic variants that predispose to SLE.
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