Why are some genetic conditions more common in particular ethnic groups?

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People in particular ethnic group share familiarity of certain version of their genes among themselves that has been passed down since generations. Similarly, among them if a genetic variation occurs that results in certain abnormalities within some individuals of the group, down the line this disorder can be seen more frequently in the group.

There are genetic based differences between the groups, such as eye color, skin color, susceptibility to some diseases. It is true with genetic similarities within the ethnic groups. While these disorders are common in particular ethnic groups, it is important to note that these can occur in any group or any individual.

Some examples of genetic conditions that are common in a particular ethnic group are:

Genetic Condition Ethnic Group
Sickle cell disease
African, African American, or Mediterranean heritage
Tay-Sachs disease
Ashkenazi (eastern and central European) Jewish or French Canadian ancestry

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Examples of Ancestry Based Genetic Disorders:

  • European Ethnicity: Cystic Fibrosis SMA Diseases
  • Asian Ethnicity: Alpha-Thalassemia Beta-Thalassemia SMA Cystic fibrosis
  • French Canadian, Cajun Ethnicity: Tay-Sachs disease Cystic Fibrosis
  • Ashkenazi Jewish Ethnicity: Gaucher disease Cystic Fibrosis Tay-Sachs disease Fam. dysautonomia Canavan disease SMA, etc.

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