A Biological, Environmental, and Cultural Basis for Ethnic Differences in Treatment

  • Michael Smith
  • Keh-Ming Lin
Part of the The Plenum Series in Culture and Health book series (PSCH)


During the past half century, progress in pharmacotherapy has led to effective therapeutic regimens for a wide variety of medical conditions. At the same time, clinicians have become increasingly sophisticated at using Pharmaceuticals and in minimizing their adverse side effects. Modern clinical pharmacology, however, has been based largely on research and clinical experiences with Caucasian patients and subjects. Relatively little is known about applying pharmacotherapy to ethnic minority populations in this country and to non-Western populations worldwide (Lawson, 1986), even though non-Caucasians comprise fully 25% of the U.S. population. According to the 1990 census, 12% of the U.S. population is African-American, 9% Hispanic-American, 3% Asian-American, and 1% Native Americans. These percentages are higher than in previous census reports and are expected to continue growing (Bureau of the Census, 1990).


Clinical Pharmacology Ethnic Difference Drug Response Ethnic Variation Poor Metabolizers 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Smith
    • 1
  • Keh-Ming Lin
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Center on the Psychobiology of EthnicityHarbor-UCLA Research and Education InstituteTorrance

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