TORONTO - A new study says genetic susceptibility is unlikely to be responsible for increased rates of severe H1N1 cases in aboriginal people.
It has been noted with H1N1 and with earlier pandemics that aboriginal people seemed to be more prone to developing severe illness than non-aboriginals.
But the study notes that First Nations people from Canada, Australian Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, a separate group of aboriginals from Australia, don't share a common ancestry.
The researchers say what those groups do have in common is a history of colonization as well as health disparities that stem from being economically and socially disadvantaged.
The authors, from the University of Manitoba, were looking for factors that might help explain why some people got severely ill with H1N1 while others did not.
Their study, which looked at nearly 800 confirmed cases of the pandemic flu in Manitoba, is published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.