High prevalence of polyclonal hypergamma-globulinemia in adult males in Ghana, Africa

Francis Buadi, Ann W. Hsing, Jerry A. Katzmann, Ruth M. Pfeiffer, Adam Waxman, Edward D. Yeboah, Richard B. Biritwum, Yao Tettey, Andrew Adjei, Lisa W. Chu, Angelo Demarzo, George J. Netto, Angela Dispenzieri, Robert A. Kyle, S. Vincent Rajkumar, Ola Landgren

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4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic antigenic stimulation is associated with hypergamma-globulinemia. Higher rates of hypergamma-globulinemia in tropical populations are maintained even with migration to temperate regions. We conducted a population-based screening study to assess the prevalence and risk factors for hypergamma-globulinemia in Ghana, Africa. 917 Ghanaian males (50-74 years) underwent in-person interviews and health examinations. Serum from all persons was analyzed by electrophoresis performed on agarose gel; serum with a discrete/localized band was subjected to immunofixation. 54 persons with monoclonal proteins were excluded and 17 samples were insufficient for analysis. Using logistic regression and Chi-square statistics we analyzed patterns of hypergamma-globulinemia. Among 846 study subjects, the median γ-globulin level was 1.86 g/dL. On the basis of a U.S. reference, 616 (73%) had hypergamma-globulinemia (>1.6 g/dL) and 178 (21%) had γ-globulin levels >2.17 gm/dl. On multivariate analyses, lower education status (P = 0.0013) and never smoking (P = 0.038) were associated with increased γ-globulin levels. Self-reported history of syphilis was associated with hypergamma-globulinemia. We conclude that three quarters of this population-based adult Ghanaian male sample had hypergamma-globulinemia with γ-globulin levels >1.6 g/dL. Future studies are needed to uncover genetic and environmental underpinnings of our finding, and to define the relationship between hypergamma-globulinemia, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), and multiple myeloma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-558
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of hematology
Volume86
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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    Buadi, F., Hsing, A. W., Katzmann, J. A., Pfeiffer, R. M., Waxman, A., Yeboah, E. D., Biritwum, R. B., Tettey, Y., Adjei, A., Chu, L. W., Demarzo, A., Netto, G. J., Dispenzieri, A., Kyle, R. A., Rajkumar, S. V., & Landgren, O. (2011). High prevalence of polyclonal hypergamma-globulinemia in adult males in Ghana, Africa. American journal of hematology, 86(7), 554-558. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajh.22040