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CYP2D6 is one of the most polymorphic of the cytochrome P450 enzymes. Genetic differences in this enzyme have been reported in whites, blacks, and Asians. However, there is very little information about polymorphisms of this enzyme in Mexican Americans. The objectives of the present study were to assess the metabolic activity of CYP2D6 in a Mexican American population using dextromethorphan and to correlate this metabolic activity with a genotypic analysis. The sample consisted of 50 Mexican American subjects and 25 non-Mexican American controls. Overnight urine samples were collected and analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography to calculate the metabolic ratio of dextromethorphan to dextrorphan. Blood samples were collected for genotypic analysis of CYP2D6 alleles. The frequency of the poor metabolizer phenotype was the same in the Mexican American group and the non-Mexican American group (6% vs 5.5%). The frequency of alleles in the Mexican American group was similar to frequencies published in other reports for non-Hispanic whites: *4 = 0.17, *5 = 0.02, *10=0.01, *17=0.02, *xN= 0.03. These results indicate that compared with non-Hispanic whites, Mexican Americans have a similar proportion of poor metabolizer phenotype and similar genetic polymorphisms of CYP2D6.