Consanguinity and genetic diseases among the Bedouin population in the Negev
- 105 Downloads
Arab Bedouins (AB) in Israel are traditionally a semi-nomadic population. Their average birth rate is extremely high (birth rate of 5.43, as well is their high consanguinity rate (44%), despite having decreased from 60% in 1992. Additionally, their mean inbreeding coefficient is 0.0238.The high rate of consanguinity results in a high prevalence of recessive genetic and multifactorial disorders as well as high infant mortality rate (11 per 1000 live births). Various genetic diseases are prevalent in AB, exemplifying how extensive the impact of consanguinity is on the community. Targeted screening programs are provided for prevalent severe genetic diseases. However, despite initial success, genetic screening is still underutilized in AB. AB, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, and different social associations should plan and manage programmed interventions. These programs should work intensively to further educate and raise awareness regarding consanguinity and its potential harms, to increase trust and collaboration between the community and the public health system, to expand screening and premarital consultations, and to create a genetic bank (specific mutations/whole genome) for the AB community.
KeywordsGenetic diseases Bedouin Negev CIPA Consanguinity Infant mortality
The study was carried out during a summer workshop on Global Health at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
Acquisition of data: Singer S, Abu Fraiha Y, Abu Freha N.
Analysis and interpretation of data: Davidovitch N, Abu Freha, N.
Drafting of manuscript: Singer S, Abu Freha, N.
Critical revision: Singer S, Davidovitch N, Abu Fraiha Y, Abu Freha N.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was not obtained, because it is a review article.
- Central statistics bureau (2017a) Accessed 20 Sept 2017 available at http://www.cbs.gov.il/shnaton67/st02_15x.pdf
- Central statistics bureau (2017b) Accessed 30 Sept 2017 available at http://www.cbs.gov.il/shnaton68/st03_11x.pdf
- Maddrell P (1990) The Bedouin of the Negev. Report No. 81. Minority Rights GroupGoogle Scholar
- Ministry health report (2014) Congenital Malformations and Genetic Diseases Among the Negev Bedouins. Available from: https://www.health.gov.il/PublicationsFiles/Genetic-Diseases-Bedouin.pdf. Accessed 19 July 2017 and 09 Jan 2019
- Recommendations for Genetic Testing (2016) Accessed at 19 July 2017 Available from: https://www.health.gov.il/English/Topics/Genetics/checks/Pages/GeneticTestingRecommendations.aspx
- The Inequality report of the health ministry (2016) Accessed 22 Sept 2017. Available at https://www.health.gov.il/publicationsfiles/inequality-2016.pdf