Document Detail

Lost in transition--the Island of Susak (1951-2001).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15636100     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The isolated population of the Island of Susak was thoroughly studied by a multidisciplinary team of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in early 1950's. Recently, a team of scientists revisited the island. This paper describes the main characteristics of the transition process during which a massive exodus occurred with 90% of the island's population migrating to New Jersey, USA. We summarise the differences in lifestyle, economy, social structure and sense of identity between the historic (1950's) and contemporary (2001) Susak population. We applied contemporary methods (analysis of microsatellite DNA polymorphisms) to investigate local myths about extreme levels of inbreeding and genetic homogeneity among the Susak islanders. Analysis of short-tandem-repeat (STR) loci showed that Susak displayed characteristics of a small homogeneous breeding isolate. The average heterozygosity was found to be low compared to outbred populations. The signature of a recent severe bottleneck could be detected. Analysis of 8 markers located on Xq13-21 in 71 individuals suggested extensive level of linkage disequilibrium (LD). A migrant study was designed to investigate the effects of large environmental changes (Susak vs. USA) and inbreeding (Susak vs. Croatian general population) on some biologically important quantitative traits, such as blood pressure and serum lipids. The results confirmed the positive correlation between inbreeding level and blood pressure that has been reported in the literature on several occasions. The last remnants of this traditional island community will soon be lost forever.
Igor Rudan; Ranko Stevanović; Veronique Vitart; Gorka Vuletić; Lorna Sibbett; Silvije Vuletić; Davor Ivanković; Lajos Szirovicza; Arsen Stanić; Caroline Hayward; Harry Campbell; Branko Cvjetanović
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Collegium antropologicum     Volume:  28     ISSN:  0350-6134     ISO Abbreviation:  Coll Antropol     Publication Date:  2004 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-01-07     Completed Date:  2005-02-03     Revised Date:  2009-02-04    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8003354     Medline TA:  Coll Antropol     Country:  Croatia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  403-21     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Medical Statistics, Epidemiology and Medical Informatics, School of Public Health Andrija Stampar, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.
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MeSH Terms
Croatia / ethnology
Emigration and Immigration*
Genetic Variation*
Genetics, Population
Health Status*
New Jersey
Quality of Life
Social Change

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