Human Genetics

, Volume 126, Issue 2, pp 247–253 | Cite as

Population programs for the detection of couples at risk for severe monogenic genetic diseases

  • Joël Zlotogora
Review Article


Population genetic screening programs for carrier detection of severe genetic disorders exist worldwide, mainly for beta-thalassemia. These screening programs are either mandatory or voluntary. In several Arab countries and Iran, the state has made thalassemia carrier detection mandatory, while tests for detecting carriers are required by the religious authorities in Cyprus. In all the existing mandatory genetic screening programs, the couples have to get the information about the tests before marriage, but the decision whether or not to marry is left to them. Voluntary programs exist for instance in several Mediterranean countries for the prevention of thalassemia and for several genetic diseases among Jews. While voluntary programs leave the decision to be screened or not to the individual, a major problem is that in many cases awareness about the existence of screening tests is very sparse. Some programs, for instance in Canada or Australia, therefore provide education about genetic tests and screening at school in order to allow the individuals to be able to make an informed decision about their reproductive choices.


Screening Program Thalassemia Jewish Community Beta Thalassemia Carrier Screening 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Community Genetics, Public Health ServicesMinistry of HealthRamat GanIsrael
  2. 2.Hebrew University JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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