THE GENETIC BACKGROUND OF SOUTHERN IRANIAN COUPLES BEFORE MARRIAGE
Nariman A, Sobhan MR, Savaei M, Aref-Eshghi E, Nourinejad R, Manoochehri M, Ghahremani S, Daliri F, Daliri K,*
*Corresponding Author: Dr. Karim Daliri, Department of Human Genetics, Behbahan Faculty of Medical Sciences, Bashir Boulevard, Behbahan, Iran. Tel: +98-9374140937. Fax: +98-9374140937. E-mail: karimdaliri@ gmail.com
page: 71
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Abstract

Genetic service for couples plays an increasingly important role in diagnosis and risk management. This study investigated the status of consanguinity and the medical genetic history (effectiveness and coverage of medical genetic services) in couples residing in a city in southern Iran. We questioned couples who were referred to Behbahan Marital Counseling Center, Behbahan, Iran, during the period from January to November 2014, to obtain information on consanguinity, disease history, and previous referral to a medical genetics center. For the collected data was obtained descriptive statistics with STATA 11.0 software. A total of 500 couples were questioned. Mean age was 24.8 5.2 years. Almost one quarter (23.4%) of the couples were consanguineous. Consanguinity was almost twice as common in rural areas as in urban areas (33.9 vs. 19.2%, p = 0.001). Only a few couples (~3.0%) had ever been referred for genetic counseling. The main reason for previous genetic counseling was consanguinity (85.7%). The majority of the participants (96.3%) had never been tested for any genetic conditions. Our findings suggest that only a small proportion of couples in Khuzestan Province, Iran (Behbahan City) were receiving adequate genetics care. This may reflect the limited accessibility of such services, and inadequate awareness and education among the care providers.



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