Middle Articles

Ascertainment and Prevention of Genetic Disease

Br Med J 1970; 3 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.3.5723.636 (Published 12 September 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;3:636
  1. A. E. H. Emery,
  2. C. Smith

    Abstract

    A genetic register system has been developed for the ascertainment and prevention of genetic disease. Its potential value is illustrated with data collected from 478 families with serious genetic disorders which had been seen during the past five years. Of these 249 were referred specifically for genetic counselling, autosomal dominant disorders accounting for the largest group of families with individuals at high risk of becoming affected. Of 717 individuals at high risk of having affected children (or carrier daughters in the case of X-linked recessive disorders), only 101 were referred specifically for counselling. Many were referred only after the birth of an affected child which might otherwise have been prevented. A genetic register system linked to practitioner, hospital, and health department records could be a valuable means of preventing genetic disease.

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