What information can statistics provide about a genetic condition?

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Statistical data provides information about how common a disease is, in which population it commonly occurs, and the common risk factors involved.

Statistics are never personal, they are concluded based on population studies where a group of people who share the same condition are evaluated and the patterns are reported. A genetics expert will take a person’s family history, medical history, and other factors into consideration while interpreting or predicting a statistical report for an individual’s case.

Some of the common statistical terms associated with gene variants include:

  • Incidence: Incidence of a gene variant could mean the number of people in population who have developed a particular variant or common shared factors or timeframe when they developed this condition.

  • Prevalence: Prevalence of a gene variant is the number of people in a specific population who are affected and living with this gene variant or a disorder.

  • Mortality: Mortality is the total number of deaths per year associated with a particular disorder occurring in a specific group.

  • Lifetime risk: Lifetime risk can be defined as the average risk in a person’s lifetime of developing a certain disorder at any given time in their life.

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