Over 500 million people affected but no news coverage

Sometimes I wonder how research becomes newsworthy. I couldn’t find any news coverage of this 2015 Chinese rodent study which provided details of the effects of a gene for which:

“Over 500 million people worldwide carry a specific polymorphism.

Is a risk factor for liver cancer.”

1 out of every 15 people alive today has this condition, and can expect:

“Increased sensitivity to acute or chronic alcohol-induced toxicity

Higher risk for gastrointestinal cancers

Enzyme deficiency in the liver, leading to inefficient detoxification of aldehydes and accumulation of cancer-causing mutations.”

Was the lack of news coverage because 40% of East Asians are affected? Would this study become newsworthy if 40% of some other group was affected?

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/29/9088.full “ALDH2(E487K) mutation increases protein turnover and promotes murine hepatocarcinogenesis”

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