Population structure of human isolates and genetic epidemiology

Pavao Rudan, Institute for Anthropological Research

The investigation of population structure in genetic, demographic and anthropological research is focused on the analyses of the complexity of interactions between the Baker's components of the „eternal triangle“ (heredity, environment and culture) in determining human phenotypes. Discussing why the isolate island populations in Croatia represent a particularly helpful model for epidemiological studies, objectives and strategies for a long term genetic and demographic epidemiological research of these populations are presented. The paper focuses on the study of metabolic syndrome (MS), that has emerged as a public health problem of enormous proportions in both developed and developing countries. The study compares the prevalence of MS in several island populations of the Eastern Adriatic coast with data on an outbred population in mainland Croatia. The results indicate that the difference in prevalence rate can be attributed to both intrinsic (genetic) factors and extrinsic (environmental) factors influencing the human morphological and biochemical phenotypes.

Presented in Poster Session 5: Contexts