Certain ethnic groups are more predisposed to certain genetic disorders.
Most of these disorders are autosomal recessive, which means that both parents must carry the same gene defect and both must pass on the abnormal gene as opposed to the normal one for the baby to be affected.
Patients of Ashkenazi Jewish descent will be tested for a panel of 19 different genetic mutations that are more common in this ethnic group, patients from Mediterranean countries will be tested for B-thalassemia, African-American patients will be tested for sickle cell anemia, French Canadians (along with Ashkenazi Jews) will be tested for Tay Sachs, and Asian patients will be tested for alpha thalessemias.
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