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“In the 1990s Black reviewed thirty-six studies of South American Indians. Not to his surprise, he discovered that overall Indians have fewer HLA types than populations from Europe, Asia, and Africa. European populations have at least thirty-five main HLA classes, whereas Indian groups have no more than seventeen. In addition, Native American HLA profiles are dominated by an unusually small number of types. About one third of South American Indians, Black discovered, have identical or near-identical HLA profiles; for Africans the figure is one in two hundred. In South America, he estimated, the minimum probability that a pathogen in one host will next encounter a host with similar immune spectrum is about 28%; in Europe, the chance is less than 2%. As a result, Black argued, that people of the New World are unusually susceptible to diseases of the old.” (Mann, Charles C. 1491. New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2005:104–5)

All obesity studies would agree that Americans are much more likely to be overweight than Europeans. In contrast, Europeans are likely to smoke much more than Americans. Only 19% of adult Americans smoke, whereas 34% of Germans and 27% of Britons do. Investigators from Harvard University tried to answer why …

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