Tuesday, September 29

Arabs bear brunt of gene disorders

I am not sure if I mentioned this before but in the dim and distant past, i worked in the magic kingdom of Saudi Arabia and there, the wife of a friend of mine used to work in a maternity hospital. My friend is an expatriate with an international bank and has worked around the globe so his wife has experience of birthing internationally. Something that she said to me stuck to my mind, that she has never experienced the level of genetic disorders that she found in Saudi Arabia. I knew they usually go about marrying their cousins and frankly incestuous marriages are quite common, but…..

Here’s a more medically accurate report on this issue. I quote:

Arabs suffer from one of the highest rates of genetic disease in the world, according to a research institute. Some 906 genetic disorders have been identified in Arabs and their descendants, reports the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS), and about 200 of those are prevalent among Arabs in the GCC alone.

So how big is this consanguinity problem?

About 63 per cent of the genetic conditions in Arab populations are due mostly to marriage between close relatives such as first cousins, clinically known as consanguinity.Such marriages, deeply ingrained in Arab culture, are on the rise in the UAE, where the rate is the fifth-highest in the Arab world. In Dubai, 40 per cent of marriages are between relatives, according to the latest statistics. In Al Ain that figure reaches 54 per cent, and in Abu Dhabi 32 per cent. Across the Arab world, Sudan and Mauritania have the highest rates, amounting to two-thirds of all marriages. However, consanguinity is on the decline in, for example, Egypt and Tunisia.

Will it change? I doubt it. In any case, I am sure it will turn out to be just a crusader or Zionist plot (just joking, for crissake!)

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