News ID: 152720
Published: 1015 GMT June 06, 2016

Importance of genetics tests before having a child

Importance of genetics tests before having a child

Since many couples refrain from undergoing costly genetic tests, 30,000 infants are born with disabilities each year, of which over 50 percent pertain to genetic defects.

Laboratory tests before conceiving can help prevent genetic defects.

All couples ― even those who are not married to their cousins ― should go for genetic counseling to prevent disability in their baby.

According to Dr. Batool Azadeh ― a pediatrician ― although consanguineous marriage is the main factor in the emergence of genetic defects, these defects may occur even in non-familial marriages.

Dr. Saeedreza Ghaffari, who holds a PhD in medical genetics, said all couples should undergo genetic tests.

He said nowadays insurance companies bear the costs of genetic tests.

He advised families with a disabled child to undergo genetic tests before having another baby. If they fail to do so, they should shoulder the exorbitant expenses for treating their disabled child over their lifetime, he said.

Ghaffari also said women should see a gynecologist in the first three months of pregnancy to screen any genetic disorder. During the second three months of pregnancy, they should also refer to a specialist to be reassured that their baby is fine, he added.

He continued that screening for genetic disorders is recommended worldwide. “Screening for metabolic diseases is prevalent in our country,” he added.

According to Head of State Welfare Organization Anoushiravan Mohseni Bandpei, there are 1.2 million people with disabilities across the country, of whom 42 percent are physically-impaired, 25 percent are mentally-disabled, 14 percent are deaf, 10 percent have vision problems and eight percent are mental patients.

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