Welcome to the Wolper Jewish Hospital Preconception Genetic Screening Program

How genetic conditions differ between populations

Some gene faults are common, and others are rare. The frequency of certain gene faults differs across different populations.

The gene faults we all carry relate to our ancestry. DNA is passed from parents to children, from generation to generation. 

Different cultures and populations have different genetic histories, so the gene faults in different populations will be different too. All people have several faulty genes, but the particular gene faults you carry will be influenced by your distant relatives and family relationships. People with Jewish ancestry do not have more faulty genes than anyone else. The Preconception Genetic Screening Program is offered because we know which genetic conditions occur most commonly in our community.

The table below shows some example genetic conditions, and the frequency of genetic carriers amongst different ancestries.

  Tay Sachs Disease Cystic Fibrosis Thalassaemia Sickle cell anaemia
Ashkenazi Jewish 1 in 25 1 in 29 varies 1 in ~40
Other European 1 in 200 1 in 25 1 in 50-100 1 in 40
Mediterranean 1 in ~250 1 in 90 1 in 25 1 in 40
African 1 in ~300 1 in 65 1 in 75 1 in 12