Massive underrepresentation of Arabs in genomic studies of common disease

Romit Bhattacharya, Ning Ning Chen, Injeong Shim, Hiroyuki Kuwahara, Xin Gao, Fowzan S. Alkuraya*, Akl C. Fahed*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Arabs represent 5% of the world population and have a high prevalence of common disease, yet remain greatly underrepresented in genome-wide association studies, where only 1 in 600 individuals are Arab. We highlight the persistent and unaddressed underrepresentation of Arabs in genomic databases and discuss its impact on public health genomics and missed opportunities for biological discovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number99
JournalGenome medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Arab
  • Diversity
  • Genomic
  • GWAS
  • Middle East
  • Polygenic score
  • Underrepresentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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