Researchers at UC Davis have discovered that a substance found in blood, which is linked with inflammation, serves as a predictor of coronary artery disease in African-Americans. These results have been published recently in J. Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
The compound in question is lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2). This is also known as PLA2G7. While this blood factor is also associated with risk of heart disease in Whites, that association is not always accurate.
A colleague of mine offers that this result is interesting. Publication in JCEM rather than a cardiology journal may be related to the relatively small samples - "336 Caucasians and 224 African-Americans who were about to undergo diagnostic coronary arteriography."
With respect to the differences, obesity prevalence is 51% greater in African Americans than Whites, which could be relevant to inflammation. Alternatively, coronary disease in African Americans may be more advanced than in Whites at the point at which arteriography is performed.
I agree - especially in terms of disparities in health care among groups of ethnic minority in the USA.
Enkhmaa B, Anuurad E, Zhang W, Pearson TA, Berglund L. (2010) Association of Lp-PLA(2) activity with allele-specific Lp(a) levels in a bi-ethnic population. Atherosclerosis. in press.