12 May 2016

Shedding light on Māori health

From Our Changing World, 9:06 pm on 12 May 2016
Victoria University molecular geneticist Geoff Chambers is challenging the one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare, arguing that genes linked to the immune system of Māori and Pasifika people differ from those of Pākehā.

Victoria University molecular geneticist Geoff Chambers is challenging the one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare, arguing that genes linked to the immune system of Māori and Pasifika people differ from those of Pākehā. Photo: Daniela Maoate-Cox / RNZ

Why is it that diabetes is more common in Māori and Pasifika people, while diseases such as cystic fibrosis and multiple sclerosis are almost unheard of? Geoff Chambers, a molecular geneticist at Victoria University, tells Veronika Meduna that genes linked to the immune systems of Māori and Pasifika people are very different from those of Europeans, which partly explains why certain medical conditions are more prevalent in some groups and why some medications may not work effectively for everybody.

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