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News & Press Release - 2012
Arab Genomic Studies
Hamdan Medical Award issues the 4th volume of "Genetic Disorders in the Arab World"
02 Sep 2012
Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS), a division of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, has issued the 4th volume of its series of books on "Genetic Disorders in the Arab World".
The book deals with Genetic Disorders in the Arab Region, particularly in Qatar. It derived from the data analysis of the CTGA Database (Catalogue for Transmission Genetics in Arabs), maintained by CAGS, and the results of the most important research papers in Qatar by a galaxy of the top geneticists.
Prof. Najuib Al Khaja, president of CAGS and Secretary General of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences said that the series of books of Genetic Disorders in the Arab World is considered one of the big projects undertaken by CAGS to decrease the burden of Genetic Disorders in the Arab Region through supporting the dissemination of information to both clinicians and researchers.
The book includes 6 chapters in English, accompanied with a summary in Arabic, on many topics such as Genetic Disorders in Arabs, Consanguineous Marriages and their effect on Common Diseases in the Qatari Population, Genetic Disorders in Qatar from a CTGA Perspective, Genetic Disorders in Qatar and initial results of a Pilot Arab Human Variome Project.
The book reviews the huge economic and psychological burdens of Genetic Disorders on patients and healthcare sectors in the Arab Countries. It reveals that the total annual cost of the most common 20 Genetic disorders in the region is estimated not to be less than $13 billion per year. Also, the book indicates to the possibility to decrease such costs through the application of effective prevention programs in populations at risk of Genetic Disease, especially in the areas of Newborn Screening, Pre-Marital screening, Prenatal Diagnosis, and Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis.
The book deals with Genetic Disorders in Qatar, referring to the close relationship between the high rates of consanguinity among the Qatari population and the high frequency of Common Diseases in adults.
"The rate of consanguinity is relatively high in Qatar, with a rate of 51.0% and predominantly first cousin marriages comprising 26.7% of all marriages" , according to the book.
An extensive data collection process for information on Genetic Disorders in the Arab population of Qatar was collected from the internationally indexed database, the peer-reviewed regional journals, and Qatar medical journal. In that regard, CTGA monitored 113 genetic disorders and 27 associated gene loci the Arab population in the Arab population of Qatar.
The book clarifies that the current generation of consanguineous parents in Qatar has a significantly higher risk than the non-consanguineous parents for such diseases as mental disorders, Epilepsy, bronchial asthma, leukemia, diabetes and other common diseases in adults.
Interestingly, the book reveals that Qatar has recently witnessed a rapid increasing in the number of cases with Cancers, but the ratio of Cancers in Qatar is still low compared with developed and neighboring countries. Although consanguinity has an effect on the development of Leukemia, and Lymphoma, Colon and Prostate Cancers in Qatar, it decreases the risk of Melanoma, and Breast, Thyroid, and Female Genital Cancers.
The book highlighted the efforts exerted by Qatar to reduce the prevalence of inherited diseases.  One of the most important of these efforts is the establishment of a national expanded newborn screening program for inborn errors of metabolism, the first of its kind in the Arab World, in collaboration with the University of Children’s Hospital of Heidelberg since December 2003. 
It is worthy to mention that the book recommends conducting more studies in Qatar to discover the relationship between consanguinity and the rare diseases and death. The series of "Genetic Disorders in the Arab World" dealt with inherited diseases in the population of UAE in its first volume, Bahrain in the second, and Oman in the third volume.