The number and distribution of recessive alleles in the population for various diseases are not known at genome-wide-scale. Based on 6,447 exome sequences of healthy, genetically unrelated Europeans of two distinct ancestries, we estimate that every individual is a carrier of at least 2 pathogenic variants in currently known autosomal-recessive (AR) genes and that 0.8%–1% of European couples are at risk of having a child affected with a severe AR genetic disorder. This risk is 16.5-fold higher for first cousins but is significantly more increased for skeletal disorders and intellectual disabilities due to their distinct genetic architecture.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Society of Human Genetics
- at-risk couples
- autosomal recessive disorders
- carrier frequency
- pre-conception carrier screening