A UNT historian’s research supports the idea that the nation and region of origin of one’s ancestors contributes to the risk of developing — or not developing — certain medical conditions.
Constance Hilliard, professor of history, discovered that West African women living in regions infested by tsetse flies, which attack cattle and prevent dairy farming, have a much lower rate of postmenopausal hip fractures caused by osteoporosis than their East African peers, who live in regions with dairy farming. The West African women’s diets are lower in calcium, which prevents bone loss that leads to osteoporosis. The research was published in the BoneKEy edition of Nature.
She says the medical community “needs to look at hereditary history and not put all races in a few categories.”