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Two hundred and fifty three individuals born and raised in the capital of Bahia State, Brazil, were paired to a sample of individuals horn and raised in rural areas, and studied for the frequency of hypohaptoglobinemia (carriers of HpO and Hp2m-1 haptoglobin phenotypes). Rural and urban subjects were classified for race on a four point scale: Light Mulattoes, Medium Mulattoes, Dark Mulattoes and Blacks and paired within the same racial group. A fluctuation of plus or minus three years was allowed in pairing for age. Children were excluded, as well as individuals with clinical signs, or recent history, of infections disease or jaundice. Starch gel electrophoresis was used for haptoglobin phenotyping. Hypohaptoglobinemia was more frequent in rural than urban individuals (p < 0.04). Because urban and rural samples were paired for race the difference in hypohaptoglobinemia must be due to environmental factors. Previous study carried out in the same area suggest that neither endemic liver disease nor hemolytic anemia seems to be the major cause of hypohaptoglobinemia in this population.