|MadSci Network: Medicine|
Progeria has been observed in several races. Japanese, Egyptian, Libyan are just a few case histories described at the NIH Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man web page http://www3.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin-post/Omim/dispmim?176670 When people have progeria the appearance of the skin is altered, and maturation of facial features is also distorted. This may result in loss of visual cues which tell us how to interpret the race of someone we are observing. The picture at this link http://www.sunshinefoundation.com/18th_progeria_reunion_pics_2.htm shows a boy with Progeria in a swimming pool who is not white, but the discoloration and blotching of his skin makes it very difficult to identify race. It may therefore be that you have previously seen only Caucasian patients in pictures because of 1) Random chance 2) Biases in the medical community which are more likely to give better care (and thus better records) to Caucasians 3) You may mistakenly identified non- Caucasians as Caucasians as result of the changes in skin color and skeletal structure. This disease is exceptionally rare, since first described at the turn of the century there have been only 86 patients reported in the medical literature. The author of the Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics is aware of 16 patients who have not been reported. This leaves us with a grand total of 102 patients in 100 years.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Medicine.