Thursday, October 08, 2009

Genetic /other disorders high among Arab population

After quite a long time I have decided to write about something serious and that has absolutely nothing to do with me. I know it might sound boring, but I have been thinking about this particular topic a lot mainly because I found that there are a lot of genetic or that kind of related disorders among the Arab population and it’s very alarming to find it at such a high rate in a small country like Kuwait.

Ok I certainly am not an expert on this topic, nor have I done much research into it and I certainly cannot claim that this is 100% correct because it’s just an observation made from a normal human being like me and I certainly am no doctor. I certainly am not hurting anyone’s feeling, patriotism and such in the long run as this is just based on some firsthand information that I received.

Once I found out about this common occurrence of disorders among the citizens here, I started looking it up in the internet and also talked to a few Kuwaiti friends and they told me that there is an alarmingly high rate of disorders like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders); ADD (Attention Deficit Disorders); MS (Multiple Sclerosis); Autism; Dyslexia etc among their people… Another set of common medical problems that I have found among the Kuwaitis are – Diabetics, Obesity and various forms of Cancer (Lung, mouth and breast cancer being the most common).

Some facts that I know for sure are – I do know many Kuwaitis who suffer from ADHD, ADD, Autism, MS etc and since every other person I see seems to be suffering from obesity and diabetics I cannot tell that it’s a huge thing anymore. But I certainly would like to know why the above said are common among the Arab population.

I did some more reading up on it and found that one common cause that most researchers, sites say is that: Inbreeding is the most common cause of genetic disorder among Arab population. Well, since the practice of interfamily marriage is still relatively common among Arabs because of the structure of the Arabic society I guess that sure seems to be the main reason. But I guess they don’t have much of a choice when it comes to marriages as they have limited options to choose from and unlike India which has a huge population, Kuwait does not have such a variety to choose from :P

MS seems to be common among the women and ADHD/ADD is now common among the children. I guess obesity and diabetics must be mainly due to the life style, the kind of food they consume and so on. But one thing we do have to note is that the younger generation has become very conscious about health and body weight and so on and I know so many who are so adamant about going to the gym to be in shape. I guess the change is mostly due to their exposure to the western countries and growing education levels and so on. Another fact that has to be noted is that most of them are marrying foreigners too (even though it’s for various other reasons). I guess that will certainly reduce the common occurrence of such problems.

I do guess that a lot of publicity has to be given into this matter so that people take more notice of these facts and try and do something to get a healthier next generation. A lot of programs have to be conducted to create the necessary awareness and it has to be targeted at all sections of society so that the message reaches all. I do know that the government and other agencies have started doing a good work towards this and there were several campaigns about breast cancer awareness, awareness about the harmful effects of smoking and so on. I just hope that the good works goes on a much stronger note.

Wow, more reading up seems to have confused me and now I am hearing about new disorders and stuff. I just went through another study which showed another set of common disorders seen in Kuwait and they are:
The Bardet-Biedl syndrome - which is a ciliopathic human genetic disorder that produces many effects and affects many body systems. It is characterized principally by obesity, retinitis pigmentosa, polydactyly, mental retardation, hypogonadism, and renal failure in some cases.
Laurence-Moon syndrome - is a rare hereditary condition associated with retinitis pigmentosa, spastic paraplegia, hypogonadism and mental retardation.
Meckel syndrome - (also known as Meckel-Gruber Syndrome, Gruber Syndrome, Dysencephalia Splanchnocystica) is a rare, lethal, ciliopathic, genetic disorder, characterized by renal cystic dysplasia, central nervous system malformations, and hepatic developmental defects.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) - is a severe recessive X-linked form of muscular dystrophy characterized by rapid progression of muscle degeneration, eventually leading to loss of ambulation and death. This affliction affects one in 3500 males, making it the most prevalent of muscular dystrophies. In general, only males are afflicted, though females can be carriers.
Phenylketonuria (PKU)- is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder characterized by a deficiency in the hepatic enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH). This enzyme is necessary to metabolize the amino acid phenylalanine to the amino acid tyrosine.

And I guess I better stop about new diseases and their meanings as this is no medical blog or encyclopedia… (Courtesy of explanation about the above diseases from Wikipedia and images from google images)
I guess by now I would have managed to confuse many of you with this post, but I just wanted to write about it ever since I have known about these facts…


An Open Book said...

well written kel..and wow too many disorders that i havent even heard of.

Enigma said...

@open book
Thanks Nishi
hehe ya so true...first time i ma hearing abt so many disorders being present in the

Renu said...

Not surprising because that is the cience prohibits in breeding.

Butterfly said...

Enigma, these kind of occurences are common wehere inbreeding takes place. Don't know why people want a generation with conditions/diseases that are not curable. We have to make that personal choice and put an end to such practices.

Enigma said...

true that science prohibits it...but i guess people here dont hav a choice as like india wen arranged marriages happen, they hav a limited choice to choose from and most good and well known families hav to choose families that match their india polulation is higher and we can make better choices

Enigma said...

hii, like i mentioned to renu above,people here dont hav a choice as like india wen arranged marriages happen, they hav a limited choice to choose from and most good and well known families hav to choose families that match their india polulation is higher and we can make better choices... i know many girls who r not married yet coz guys hav to pay a huge dory to them..and divorce rate is also getting very high... but ya true abt a generation with diseases...its pathetic