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Am J Med Genet. 1997 Dec 19;73(3):334-6.

Prevalence of the factor V-Leiden mutation in four distinct American ethnic populations.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90095-1732, USA.


Resistance to activated protein C (APC) is the most common risk factor for venous thromboembolism, a major cause of morbidity and mortality with an incidence of about 1/1,000 per year. The Arg 506 to Gln mutation in exon 10 of the coagulation factor V gene (factor V-Leiden) has been found to be responsible for over 90% of the APC resistance cases and is an autosomal dominant trait. Initial studies have suggested that this mutation is restricted to individuals of European Caucasian extraction with an average allele frequency in European and American Caucasians of 4.4%, making it one of the most common monogenic disorders in the Caucasian population. A limited number of other ethnic populations have been tested and the mutation has been found only rarely. In our multiethnic survey of 602 individuals, Hispanic-Americans had the highest observed frequency of the factor V-Leiden mutant allele, 1.65%, while African-Americans had a somewhat lower frequency, 0.87%. No factor V-Leiden mutations were found in 191 Asian-Americans or 54 Native-Americans tested. These results indicate that the factor V-Leiden mutation segregates in populations with significant Caucasian admixture and is rare in genetically distant non-European groups. This ethnic stratification may be important in developing cost-effective selective screening programs to identify individuals at risk for thromboembolism and offer prophylactic therapy.

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