Reference intervals for serum proteins: similarities and differences between adult Caucasian and Asian Indian males in Yorkshire, UK

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The aim of this study was to investigate similarities and differences in the distribution of serum concentrations of nine proteins in two racial groups (Caucasian and Asian Indian) of adult males living in the same geographical area (Leeds, Bradford, UK) for at least two generations. This is part of a larger study to determine the need for separating reference intervals for racial and ethnic groups worldwide. The distributions of concentrations for all proteins evaluated in the Indians fit ln-Gaussian distributions, indicating probable homogeneity. However, for the Caucasians, the distributions for α1-antitrypsin and possibly haptoglobin were not ln-Gaussian. In the former case, this is undoubtedly due to the number of Caucasians with lower-concentration phenotypes (Pi MS and MZ). Although haptoglobin differences may be due to genetic variants as well, this is not a complete explanation. In addition, the Indians have lower serum concentrations of orosomucoid (α1-acid glycoprotein), as has been reported by others. It is apparent that for some proteins, including α1-antitrypsin, orosomucoid, and possibly haptoglobin, the populations show differences that require the use of separate reference intervals. In addition to genetic influences, environmental differences cannot be ruled out as partial causes for some of the differences noted.

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