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Int J Epidemiol. 1997 Aug;26(4):757-64.

Black/white differences in leukocyte subpopulations in men.

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1
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although counts of leukocytes differ substantially between blacks and whites, and are predictive of ischaemic heart disease (IHD), racial differences in counts of leukocyte subpopulations have received less attention.

METHODS:

We examined black/white differences in leukocyte subpopulations among 3467 white and 493 black 31-45 year-old-men who had previously served in the US Army. Laboratory determinations were performed at a central location during 1985-1986.

RESULTS:

Black men had an 840 cell/microliter (or 15%) lower mean total leukocyte count than did white men, largely due to a 960 cell/microliter (or 25%) lower mean neutrophil count. Although black men also had a 20% lower mean monocyte count (= 70 cells/microliter) than did white men, their mean lymphocyte count was 10% higher (approximately = 200 cells/microliter). Counts of various leukocyte subpopulations were associated with cigarette smoking, haemoglobin levels, platelet counts, and several other characteristics, but black/white differences in counts of neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes and other subpopulations could not be attributed to any of the examined covariates.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite the relatively low counts of leukocytes and neutrophils among black men, their lymphocyte counts are generally higher than those among white men. It is possible that black/white differences in counts of various cell types may influence race-specific rates of IHD, and future studies should attempt to assess the importance of leukocyte subpopulations in the development of clinical disease.

PMID:
9279607
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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