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India may have a higher risk of Cystic fibrosis because of the caste marriage system

India may have a higher risk of CF because of the unique system of marriages within the same caste or community

India may have a higher risk of Cystic fibrosis

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  8 Nov 2020 4:34 PM GMT

New Delhi: A study by Sir Ganga Ram Hospital showed that India could have a higher risk of Cystic fibrosis.

The study was published in the BMC Medical Genetics of London which was conducted among 200 individuals including 101 men and 99 women.

In search of various reasons unrelated to two genetic disorders, they were visiting the hospital's Gynaecology outpatient clinic.

According to the doctors, the study showed a high carrier frequency for genetic forms of deafness and Pompe disease. Carrier status does not mean affected by the disease. If both the husband and wife are carriers then there is a 25% chance of their children suffering from the disease.

"Based on this study cystic fibrosis should be added to the list of diseases like beta-thalassemia and spinal muscular disorders that should be screened in all pregnant women to prevent these diseases. It should also be added to the list of disorders for new-born screening too. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital is planning to add CF to the existing newborn screening program." Senior Consultant and advisor of the Institute of Medical Genetics and Genomics, IC Verma said.

Meanwhile, Senior Consultant, Sunita Bijarniya- Mahay said, "Our study also found that the disease-causing pathogenic variants in the Indian population are different from those commonly observed in the West. It is because of our unique system of marriages within the same caste /community and presence of consanguineous marriages."

Patient with CF inherits mutated copies of genes from both the parents. If one inherits one copy then the patient is asymptomatic but is a career which means there is a chance he or she can pass to the children if one partner is also a carrier.

Cystic fibrosis is a serious genetic condition that causes severe damage to the respiratory and digestive systems. It affects cells that produce mucus, sweat, and digestive juices causing the fluids to become thick and sticky and as a result, the respiratory passageways get blocked.

Though there is no cure for CF medication and other therapies can ease the symptoms and prolong life. And the only way to prevent this disease is by genetic screening.

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