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June 2001

The Historical and Geomedical Immunogenetics of Pemphigus Among the Descendants of Sephardic Jews in New Mexico

Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(6):825-826. doi:

The prevalence of pemphigus vulgaris (PV) among Hispanic New Mexicans is approximately 4 times higher than that among non-Hispanics generally and approaches that among Ashkenazi Jews. One explanation for this is suggested by studies revealing the existence of so-called crypto-Jewish populations in the Southwestern United States,1 whose ancestors fled the Inquisition in 15th- and 16th-century Spain and Portugal and came to Mexico and then to the present-day Southwestern United States. In the present study, we examined the cultural practices, heritage, and immunogenetics of New Mexican Hispanic patients with PV to determine whether their PV is associated with Sephardic Jewish ancestry.

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