Personalized medicine and Hispanic health: improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities - a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute workshop report
Persons of Hispanic/Latino descent may represent different ancestries, ethnic and cultural groups and countries of birth. In the U.S., the Hispanic/Latino population is projected to constitute 29% of the population by 2060. A personalized approach focusing on individual variability in genetics, environment, lifestyle and socioeconomic determinants of health may advance the understanding of some of the major factors contributing to the health disparities experienced by Hispanics/Latinos and other groups in the U.S., thus leading to new strategies that improve health care outcomes. However, there are major gaps in our current knowledge about how personalized medicine can shape health outcomes among Hispanics/Latinos and address the potential factors that may explain the observed differences within this heterogeneous group, and between this group and other U.S. demographic groups. For that purpose, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), in collaboration with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), held a workshop in which experts discussed (1) potential approaches to study medical treatments and health outcomes among Hispanics/Latinos and garner the necessary evidence to fill gaps of efficacy, effectiveness and safety of therapies for heart, lung, blood and sleep (HLBS) disorders and conditions--and their risk factors; (2) research opportunities related to personalized medicine to improve knowledge and develop effective interventions to reduce health disparities among Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S.; and (3) the incorporation of expanded sociocultural and socioeconomic data collection and genetic/genomic/epigenetic information of Hispanic/Latino patients into their clinical assessments, to account for individual variability in ancestry; physiology or disease risk; culture; environment; lifestyle; and socioeconomic determinants of health. The experts also provided recommendations on: sources of Hispanic/Latino health data and strategies to enhance its collection; policy; genetics, genomics and epigenetics research; and integrating Hispanic/Latino health research within clinical settings.