Higher prevalence of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance in African Americans than whites--the unknown role of underlying HIV infection

J Natl Med Assoc. 2006 Nov;98(11):1860-1.


The age-adjusted prevalence rate of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is three-fold higher in African Americans than whites. Similarly, there is a higher preponderance of multiple myeloma (MM) in African-American patients. Since the risk of progression of MGUS to MM is equal in both races, identification of exogenous and genetic risk factors of MGUS [such as genetic pre-disposition; diet; and chronic antigenic exposure related to sexually transmitted diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection] is essential for unraveling the etiology of the racial disparity for MM. HIV infection, a well-documented risk factor for MGUS, is more frequent in African-American patients. Future epidemiologic studies dealing with plasma cell disorders should carefully examine the relationship between race, HIV infection status, prevalence of MGUS and its ultimate progression to MM.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • African Americans* / statistics & numerical data
  • Disease Progression
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Multiple Myeloma / virology
  • Paraproteinemias / ethnology*
  • Paraproteinemias / virology*
  • Prevalence