There are a number of genetic disease for which persons of Jewish heritage (at least one grandparent) are more likely to be carriers of than the general population. Carriers are healthy individuals, unaffected by the disease for which they carry. If both parents are carriers of a gene mutation for the same condition, there is a 25% chance, with each pregnancy, of having an affected child. These diseases are all serious and can be fatal and or life altering to children born with them.
It is estimated that nearly 1 in 2 Ashkenazi Jews in the United States is a carrier of at least one of 38 Jewish genetic diseases. Please be aware that there are many laboratories offering Ashkenazi Jewish genetic disease screening with varying panels. Individuals may also opt to do expanded carrier screening to include disorders not necessarily more common in the Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry (Pan Ethnic Panels). You should discuss these options with your physician or genetic counselor.
Sephardic and Mizrahi Diseases
There is no single preconception carrier-screening panel for people of Sephardic or Mizrahi background. Carrier screening is dependent upon country of origin. People of Sephardic or Mizrahi background should seek genetic counseling.