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Is HD more common in specific genders or groups?

April 29, 2013

Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

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Is HD more common in specific genders or groups?

Q. Is HD more common in specific genders or groups?

Mary, 14, USA

A. Dear Mary,

Thanks for your question.

I’d like to deal with your question in to parts. The first is about gender and the answer is that HD is equally common in men and women.

The second question about groups is a bit more difficult. I think you are talking about ethnic groups (like Caucasian, Hispanic, African-American etc). The simple answer is that there is no clear difference between ethnic groups. The more complicated answer is that these groups are much more difficult to separate than gender groups (most people can be very easily identified as a man or woman!). We’re all of a mixed ethnicity really from the point of view of genetics. However, there are one or two parts of the world with very isolated populations which have a very high rate of HD (for instance, a small area in Venezuela and a part of the North West of Pakistan) but this only happens in areas that people don’t move in and out of very often.

I hope that answers your question.