1022-7954/02/3801- $27.00 © 2002
Russian Journal of Genetics, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2002, pp. 76–79. Translated from Genetika, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2002, pp. 93–96.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2002 by El’chinova, R. Zinchenko, S. Zinchenko, Ginter.
There is ample evidence for characteristic features
of reproductive behavior in different ethnic groups .
The vital statistics and Crow’s index are essential
parameters of medical genetic description of any
human population, as they reﬂect the intensity of natural
selection, which makes a considerable contribution into
the formation of the spectrum of genetic pathology . In
this work, we describe the genetic demographic charac-
teristics of the population of Chuvashia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The information was collected in several districts of
the Republic of Chuvashia, including the Morgaushi
raion (the population of which is 97.7% Chuvash and
1.7% Russian ) in 1999, the town of Alatyr’ (5.0% of
Chuvashes and 83.2% of Russians ) in 2000, and the
Marposadskii raion (80.1% of Chuvashes and 18.4% of
Russians ) in 2000. The demographic questionnaire,
which we repeatedly used earlier, was distributed, on
our request, by the staff of healthcare institutions
among postreproductive females (above 45 years old).
The marital status of the respondents was not taken into
account. The ages of the respondents varied from 45 to
94 years, the mean ages being 54.24
1.15, and 54.93
0.87 in the Morgaushi raion, Alatyr’,
and the Marposadskii raion, respectively (calculated for
the ethnic majority). The questionnaire covered the fol-
lowing items: the ages of marriage and beginning of
reproductive life, age of menarche, age of menopause,
number of pregnancies, number of live births, number
of stillbirths, number of spontaneous abortions, number
of therapeutic abortions, and number of children that
survived until 18 years of age.
Crow’s index and its components were calculated as
(1) the differential mortality (
) was calculated
using the formula
are the proportions of children that
have not survived and have survived until the reproduc-
tive age, respectively;
(2) the differential fertility (
) was calculated using
is the variance of the average family size and
is the average number of children born to females that
survived until our study; and (3) Crow’s index was cal-
culated using the formula
Table 1 shows the number of questionnaires
returned and the distribution of the females with respect
to ethnicity. Chuvashes and Russians were mainly rep-
resented by rural and urban residents, respectively.
Unfortunately, most of the Chuvash respondents stud-
ied did not indicate in the questionnaires to which
group of Chuvashes (Vir’yal, Anatri, or Anat-Enchi)
Comparison of Chuvashes, Maris, and Russians
with Respect to Vital Statistics and Crow’s Index
G. I. El’chinova, R. A. Zinchenko, S. P. Zinchenko, and E. K. Ginter
Research Center for Medical Genetics, Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, 115478 Russia;
Received November 4, 2000
—Genetic demographic characteristics were calculated for Chuvash and Russian inhabitants of the
Republic of Chuvashia. The generation lengths were 27.09 and 26.4 years and the sibship sizes were 2.54 and
1.82 for Chuvashes and Russians, respectively. Crow’s indices and their components were as follows:
for Chuvashes and
for Russians. The genetic demo-
graphic characteristics obtained were compared with those for Highland and Meadow Maris.
The number of questionnaires and ethnic composi-
tion of the female respondents in three districts of Chuvashia
Morgaushi raion 158 154 4 –
Alatyr’ (town) 100 1 87 12
Marposadskii raion 167 132 34 1
Total 425 287 125 13
Note: “Others” include 1 German, 1 Ukrainian, and 11 Mordvins.