A comprehensive program for prevention of genetic diseases among Arabs in Israel

Stavit A. Shalev, Rivka Carmi, Alex Leventhal, Joël Zlotogora

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Genetic diseases are relatively prevalent among the Arab population, and are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in this population. The relative high rate of genetic diseases among the Arabs in Israel is a direct result of very high rates of consanguinity. In order to reduce the frequency of congenital malformations/inherited diseases, it is important to choose combined strategies, including efforts focused on health education and health promotion, with an emphasis on the medical consequences of marriages within the family. Primary prevention is conducted by genetic counseling prior to marriage or prior to the first pregnancy and secondary prevention focuses on early genetic screening during the pregnancy. In order to provide the necessary tools for such a program, genetic research must first characterize the common genetic diseases in the small communities, and identify their responsible mutations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)792-794+804
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabs
  • Community genetics
  • Genetic disease
  • Genetic screening
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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