Epidemiological and molecular genetic studies in the Israeli Arab  society in comparison with that in the Palestinian territories

 

Dr. Abdesalam Azem (PI) - TRDC

Dr. Rajach Sharkia, The Triangle R&D-center

The prevalence of genetic diseases in the Israeli Arab population and Palestinians is relatively high. The major cause for this high rate of genetic diseases is attributed to very high rates of consanguinity, in addition to other factors such as geographic, political, economic and ethnic leading to genetic isolation of the Israeli and Palestinian cities and villages.  The high frequency of consanguineous marriages is implicated with high rates of congenital morbidity and neonatal mortality in this population. It is possible to decrease the frequency of genetic diseases in these societies by planning and implementing a program with combined strategies. The first strategy is health education and health promotion, with an emphasis on increasing the awareness of the risks resulting from consanguineous marriages. The second strategy is to characterize, identify, and diagnose the various types of inherited genetic diseases that are common in the Arab community both within the Israeli state and the Palestinian territory. The characterization of the common genetic diseases in this population is important to provide necessary information for genetic counseling and developing various prevention programs. The joint venture between the German-Israeli-Palestinian scientists will be the main asset to carry out this humanitarian-health related research work.