Millions of people all around the world suffer from inherited genetic diseases. These people were pre-destined to have them long before they were born or even conceived. Some genetic dispositions are being passed on from parents or grandparents and inevitably affect person´s live and lives of his or her children. Despite the fact that intensive research is going on in the field, the genetic health problems can still result in a serious handicap for the quality of life. And in worst cases, genetic disorders are incurable and terminal.
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10. Cystic Fibrosis
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One of the most common genetic health problems is cystic fibrosis. This inherited disease affects the lungs. Because of the disease, the body produce thick mucus which prevents proper function of lungs, causing infections, difficult breathing and proper absorption of food nutrients. 70,000 people worldwide suffer from this disease. A few decades earlier, it was rare for children diagnosed with cystic fibrosis to live more than 6 years. Now, thanks to better medication and better genetic health service system, 50% of all people with the diagnosis can live past 37.
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Tay-Sachs disease is a very rare but fatal genetic disorder which progressively damages the nervous system. Its initial activity starts usually before the 6 months of age. Baby´s development slows down and finally it definitely stops as they lose the ability to move. A strong indication to diagnose this disease are red dots near the center of their eyes. Affected children usually die before the age of four.
8. Breast Cancer
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The breast cancer is not fully typical for inclusion into the list of common genetic health problems because the breast cancer can be sourced differently. However, Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (HBOC), refers to the case of the disease conditioned by genetic nature. The chance that this is the case significantly rises in these cases:
The family history of women diagnosed at the age of 45 and younger.
The family history of women diagnosed with an additional type of cancer at the age of 50 and younger.
Multiple cases of breast cancer on one side of the family.
Male ancestor relative with the breast cancer.
In these cases, the inherited genetic condition is indicated.
7. Sickle Cell Disease
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Another of the genetic health problems is an inherited disease called Sickle Cell Disease. This is a disorder which expresses itself by the different shape of red blood cells. It leads to many complications lowering the expected lifetime of a patient. The average age of those with this disease is 42 years for males and 48 years for females.
6. Brugada Disease
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The Brugada disease is a genetic disorder which increases the risk of sudden cardiac death. It is characterized by an abnormal EEG record. The average age of death for those with this problém is 41 years. This is sone of the common genetic health problems.
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The better known of genetic health problems is inherited disorder characterized by an inability to make blood clots and therefore inability to stop bleeding when hurt. Most famous of the people with this disease were members of Russian tzar family before the World War One. Today´s genetic health service system can assure that the quality of life is similar to that of normal people with near to the same average age of death.
4. Huntington’s Disease
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Huntington´s Disease is severe, an inherited genetic disorder which leads to the brain damage, deterioration of nerve cells and subsequent affection of movement, behavior and cognitive functions. Usually, it first appears between the age of 35 to 55 years. Today, there is no real treatment for this disease.
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Hemochromatosis is an inherited genetic metabolic disorder which affects over 1 million people in the United States. Because of the disorder, the body cannot manage the iron properly. Its exceed can damage organs and be fatal in worst cases. It is very common of genetic health problems. It is a treatable disease.
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Addiction to alcohol is considered a disease and it is very likely to be passed through the genetic line. If both parents are addicted to alcohol, then there is a much higher chance of children with the same problem. However, no specific gene which increases the chance was identified so far.
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Another of very common genetic health problems in which obesity of parents significantly increases the chance for obese children. Obesity has a lot of negative impacts on the quality of life and causes secondary health problems like a higher chance of heart attack and others. There is a genetic predisposition for obesity.
These were some of many genetic inherited disorders in evidence of genetic health service. One of the most debated questions within this field is the question of ethics of prenatal testing for some of these diseases. Do you think it is ethical to test embryos? What is your opinion?